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ThunderShrike.
22-09-2008, 22:13
You guys know all those Space marines sergeants and characters etc? Alot of them don't wear helmets and leave their bare heads open. So I mean like, unless theres some kind of invisible force shield, shielding their face, wouldn't a single headshot from a boltpistol take out say, marneus calgar?

Also if you look at the SM codex cover (4th edition), calgar is right up front as well, leading the charge.

TheRoadWarrior
22-09-2008, 22:17
Ever hear of

Heros rules?
but, yes, i can see that happen.

PondaNagura
22-09-2008, 22:34
considering how hard it is to shoot a regular person in the head, it's probably a tad more so for an eight foot tall behemoth clad in thick plates of armor, and often a gorget (neck armor) that would obscure the lower half of the head. also factor in this behemoth is engineered for killing, is better armed, and coming right towards you, guns a blazing, with a handful more of equally if not better armed/armored behemoths...um, yeah.

TheRoadWarrior
22-09-2008, 22:50
but, it could happen

Ivan Stupidor
22-09-2008, 22:54
Calgar's a bad example, since he does have an invisible force field, and half his head is made out of the same stuff helmets are. It's also best to remember that the models and paintings (and, in fact, everything related to the game) are designed to look cool rather than realistic - for example, the Imperial Guard codex mentions that it's standard practise for officers to wear helmets when snipers are about, but you'll be hard-pressed to find a Colonel or Commissar model with one on!*


*Cadian Junior Officers don't count.

Feor
22-09-2008, 23:01
Indeed background wise the only time marines seem to go into battle without their helmets is in cases of severly reduced visibility (where the helmet just reduces it even more) or where what their opponent's using isn't going to care if you've got a helmet on or not. (see buddy fighting the Laer in Fulgrim)

That having been said, alot of marines seem to come out of battle without their helmets, which seem like the second most dispoable piece of armour, after the shoulderpads.

Khaine's Messenger
22-09-2008, 23:01
A lot of the high-ups like Calgar do, in fact, have magical forcefields. Protecting their entire bodies. I don't recall if Calgar specifically has one, but it's kinda the done thing. It becomes somewhat more questionable when it comes to squad sergeants, sure. But like the Road Warrior tried to get across, you just can't see them shouting, bearing scars stoically, or being heroic with the helmet on.

Nicha11
22-09-2008, 23:13
I Reckon the lack of helmets is just decoration, if you are fighting on
a barren moon with no oxygen you would keep your helmet on.

Neknoh
22-09-2008, 23:20
On a more interesting note

What happens is that the veterans that fight without their helmets has been around for long, right?

That means they have survived a helluva lot of battles? Again, correct.

This leads me to reason that they have, time and again, been picked at by snipers, artillery or just random powerfists and the likes, meaning a lot of head trauma to their helmets and possibly their own heads. Metal plates is, even today a well used method of repairing heads.

Ergo, the helmetless characters on the tabletops don't go with helmetless heads, their heads ARE the helmets... ever wondered about why those heads appear bigger than similar models with helmets would have should said helmets be removed?

ironcurtin117
23-09-2008, 00:37
Also SMs have reinforced Skeletons and all sorts of plug ins in their skulls in order to integrate themselves with their armor w/e. For the guard, look at modern helmets, they're only really meant for protection against shrapnel and blunt trauma so if you're fighting an ork with a .80 caliber pistol, it ain't gonna make much of a difference

Rylanor
23-09-2008, 00:37
...wtf?

i don't know where to begin.... i'm sending everyone on this forum my eighth grade english teacher. that'll teach yous :P.

i'm pretty sure that a metal plate isn't gonna stop a, say, .50 caliber round from penetrating even the most charismatic leader's facial region, and i'm almost positive that in the WH40K universe, snipers use something a hell of a lot stronger than what we use today. therefore, force fields.

PondaNagura
23-09-2008, 00:47
...as for snipers, they could probably penetrate a helmets material as much as it would a skull, look at DoW2 trailer. bam, right in the forehead.

Lord Raneus
23-09-2008, 00:57
Remember, the models are snapshots in time; we don't see the model moving.

So just because the model has its helmet off doesn't mean that Space Marines go into battle helmetless; even Space Wolves, the chapter with the most reason not to wear helmets, go into battle wearing them.

petesamd
23-09-2008, 01:58
hey,

In the Ragnar space wolf books sergeant harkon gets shot in the head then goes into comma then dies. but being a space wolf their senses are dampened while wearing the helmets, so there's a good reason for helmet less space wolves. dont know if this was helpful but there you go!
petesamd

Unamed Consript
23-09-2008, 02:31
Well, having major characters in fluff killed easily like that would be pointless. How would this sound in a news reel? "And in other news, highly skilled and decorated Ultramarines general, Marneus Calgar, was killed was earlier this mourning when he was hit in the head by a boltun misfire. This happened just before the tyranid hive fleet destroyed the Ultramarine chapter and homeworld."

Warforger
23-09-2008, 02:56
I heard of a book series that did that though, I heard it was a good series.

Well, I know its a primarch, but Leman shot Lion in the head with a bolt pistol after a battle, he shrugged it oof and knocked Leman into a comma.

perplexiti
23-09-2008, 03:19
As far as I can recall Russ didn't shoot Lion in the head, they had a fist fight that went on for a day or so

PondaNagura
23-09-2008, 03:29
yeah it was a fight of fistacuffs,they may have had their differences but the lion and the wolf wouldn't kill each other.

LexxBomb
23-09-2008, 03:41
Calgar's a bad example, since he does have an invisible force field, and half his head is made out of the same stuff helmets are. It's also best to remember that the models and paintings (and, in fact, everything related to the game) are designed to look cool rather than realistic - for example, the Imperial Guard codex mentions that it's standard practise for officers to wear helmets when snipers are about, but you'll be hard-pressed to find a Colonel or Commissar model with one on!*


*Cadian Junior Officers don't count.

that is really stupid... in any military force if you know you will be encountering snipers officers will dress to look just like regular troops and no one salutes. it just makes you a bigger target

ernest101
23-09-2008, 03:58
its simple, they all live under the influence of 'The Emperor protects' :D

Ddraiglais
23-09-2008, 08:31
The miniatures are done for effect. It's the coolness factor. The vast majority of helmetless SM would march to war wearing a helmet. GW just models them that way to distiguish them from rank and file grunts.

Koryphaus
23-09-2008, 08:52
that is really stupid... in any military force if you know you will be encountering snipers officers will dress to look just like regular troops and no one salutes. it just makes you a bigger target

That's the Space Marine's answer to the problem.. If they wear a helmet, then the enemy snipers will be able to pick them out, because (in Codex chapters at least) there is a big, brightly coloured stripe running down the middle of the helmet, or the helmet is another colour entirely. So they don't wear a helmet to prevent recognition!

The dirty great big indentity banners on their back are invisible through sniper scopes, you see, and so cannot be used to pick them out from a distance.. ;):D

MrBigMr
23-09-2008, 11:00
that is really stupid... in any military force if you know you will be encountering snipers officers will dress to look just like regular troops and no one salutes. it just makes you a bigger target
Sniping is a coward's tactic (unless when used by the servants of His Undying Glory to take down vile heretics). The Uplifting Primer teaches you to stand firm and look the enemy in the eye. It's a case of 19th century tactics in a 20th century warfare a la WW1.

As many have said already, actually hitting the head is quite hard. Ever tried it? Even at a firing range it's not easy, let alone when the targets are moving and shooting back! Head is a nasty target in a sense that it's not that big, sticks out and there's nothing around it really. So if you miss, you miss. But aim for the center mass and even if you miss the enemy's stomach, you're sure to hit his limbs, chest, groin, etc. They never taught us to aim for the head for extra damage in the army. It was always "make a gut shot, it'll disable him and draw fighting men to treat the wounded soldier."

And if one wants to start looking at "modern" things how much protection does a boonie hat or a skating helmet offer from bullets? Or a true military helmet in general. They're mostly against ricochets and shrapnel and won't always stop a bullet. Some never. So against a headshot, helmet or no helmet, you're screwed.

And just because a models doesn't have a helmet on him, does not mean he doesn't have a helmet at all. Remember, people, the minies are not "as it is happening" type of things, but merely markers for the actual models. Or does that missile launcher Marine run around his launcher shouldered and looking through the sight at all times? Does that sergeant point his chainsword and yell where ever he goes?

chromedog
23-09-2008, 11:57
How about ...?

Have you seen the so-called 'service studs' that certain SM officers have in their skulls (may be retconned fluff). They are supposedly hammered in for every 1x years service.

I posit that they are in fact the actual slugs from snipers still in their thick skulls.
They don't need helmets because their heads are ALL skull.

Sai-Lauren
23-09-2008, 12:15
i'm pretty sure that a metal plate isn't gonna stop a, say, .50 caliber round from penetrating even the most charismatic leader's facial region, and i'm almost positive that in the WH40K universe, snipers use something a hell of a lot stronger than what we use today. therefore, force fields.

And even if it does stop it, the force transferred into the victim's skull will bounce their brain around inside their skull like a peanut in a tumble dryer, rip all the tendons and muscles in their necks, sever their spinal cord, and rip open their carotid arteries and jugular veins. If they're helmeted, then the connections into the suit can absorb some of the force, but they're still likely to get concussion or be knocked out, at best they'll be knocked silly for a few minutes.



As many have said already, actually hitting the head is quite hard. Ever tried it? Even at a firing range it's not easy, let alone when the targets are moving and shooting back! Head is a nasty target in a sense that it's not that big, sticks out and there's nothing around it really. So if you miss, you miss. But aim for the center mass and even if you miss the enemy's stomach, you're sure to hit his limbs, chest, groin, etc. They never taught us to aim for the head for extra damage in the army. It was always "make a gut shot, it'll disable him and draw fighting men to treat the wounded soldier."


Oh yes - why do you think eldar rangers get a chance of AP 1? It represents a targetted headshot or hitting a similar weakpoint. But in a normal firefight, everyone's aiming for the centre of mass - the torso - because that improves the firing solution and means they're more likely to hit.

MvS
23-09-2008, 12:26
Well the image has come about from the models and the models were probably scuplted that way for a bit of diversity. I doubt there's any deeper reason to the imagery than that.

That said, I like to imagine that the Marine Officers and NCOs who go into battle without a helmet in fact have a low level Refractor Field or somesuch as an integral part of their power armour front and back plates.

Conveniently enough, this force field offers exactly the same level of protection as their regular helmet would, while also allows for breatheable air to be circulated around the Marines head so that he can still inspire his men and stare his enemies right in the eye in toxic environments.

Perhaps it even projects a semi-transparent one-way display around the Marine's head with lots of useful battlefield data...

;)

Arkturas
23-09-2008, 13:30
I remember seeing some quite old drawings where the marine looks like they're wearing a goldfish bowl on their head. Seems acceptable for refractor fields as a replacement helmet, or those goldfish bowls that are so tricky to model being clear.

Frankye
23-09-2008, 14:33
People with power armour everywhere, *including the trigger fingers* (c'mon, ever tried shooting with gloves on?), but without helmets is no more strange than a bunch of orks charging towards massed bolter fire with just a t-shirt on, *but wearing a heavy metal helmet*. :)

Sai-Lauren
23-09-2008, 15:20
Conveniently enough, this force field offers exactly the same level of protection as their regular helmet would, while also allows for breatheable air to be circulated around the Marines head so that he can still inspire his men and stare his enemies right in the eye in toxic environments.

Perhaps it even projects a semi-transparent one-way display around the Marine's head with lots of useful battlefield data...

More likely they've got an implant in their eye which projects information onto the visual receptors, and a load of wires round their optic nerve, out through their cheekbones and down under the facial muscles to the base of the neck, linking up with the suit plug points.

What you've suggested is possibly a bit too Eldar in nature.

JOBusse
23-09-2008, 15:55
Personally, I don't think the "sniper rifles" in the 40K-iverse are all that large and powerful. Strength equal to toughness with AP6? As I recall, they're more like dart guns that deliver a neurotoxin of some sort (needle rifle was the term, I believe). For a good rules-interpretation of what I see as modern-day sniper rifles, i'd point to the tau sniper drones. High Strength, low Rate of Fire, low AP weapons.

FashaTheDog
23-09-2008, 16:26
I have a feeling the diversity is only a portion of the reason for heads sculpted without helmets. As someone who has dove into sculpting with boundless zeal, sculpting a head is far, far more fun than any helmet, especially the hair. Helmets are rather restrictive and boring to scultp as you really get little in the way of free reign. Sure you can add details like gems, icons, or choose from different styles, but a bare head offers far more as you can chage the entire model by making the face gaunt or flabby, scarred or immaculate, bald or with long hair billowing in the wind, clean shaven or Grisly Adams. The hair alone offers you the chance to ease off of the more detail and meticulous effort the rest of the model requires (robes and capes can be very similar to this). The longer the hair, the more you can casually allow yourself to almost play with it. Yes some helmets have the plumes but they are not entirely the same. It just offers more freedom to customize the model.

Many of my Space Wolves have rather wild and free hair and beards to bring out the barbarian archtype. One looks like Grisly Adams while I'm sculpting one to look like Pete Burns (with the eye patch and poofy hair, not in full out drag). Others have almost manes or long flowing hair.

MvS
23-09-2008, 16:46
More likely they've got an implant in their eye which projects information onto the visual receptors, and a load of wires round their optic nerve, out through their cheekbones and down under the facial muscles to the base of the neck, linking up with the suit plug points.

What you've suggested is possibly a bit too Eldar in nature.
Agreed! Yours is a much more appropriate ides.

Although I should probably say that mine was an off the cuff and slightly tongue-in-cheek description... :)

MrBigMr
23-09-2008, 16:57
Oh yes - why do you think eldar rangers get a chance of AP 1? It represents a targetted headshot or hitting a similar weakpoint. But in a normal firefight, everyone's aiming for the centre of mass - the torso - because that improves the firing solution and means they're more likely to hit.
Naturally. But remember, they're elves. Ranger long rifles should be Assault 3. They just skip along and plant shots with pin-point accuracy. Besides, other races get similar effects as well via rending.


People with power armour everywhere, *including the trigger fingers* (c'mon, ever tried shooting with gloves on?)
In the army we had mittens that everyone called No Can Dos because there literally wasn't a thing you could to with them on, but they were warm.


but without helmets is no more strange than a bunch of orks charging towards massed bolter fire with just a t-shirt on, *but wearing a heavy metal helmet*. :)
Like so: http://www.swamppolitics.com/news/politics/blog/1st%20cav%20Vietnam.jpg
Soldiers with nothing but loose clothing and heavy metal helmets.

imperial_scholar
23-09-2008, 18:39
hey,

In the Ragnar space wolf books sergeant harkon gets shot in the head then goes into comma then dies. but being a space wolf their senses are dampened while wearing the helmets, so there's a good reason for helmet less space wolves. dont know if this was helpful but there you go!
petesamd
Actually... Harkon (Hakkon?) was implied to being interred into a dreadnought. I'm sure he'll make a return in a future book... by bill king (PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE)

its simple, they all live under the influence of 'The Emperor protects' :D
I didn't think of that one :D. Good one.

Honestly though, in war... helmets aren't that much of a saving grace. Typically helmets are yes, shrapnel protection. In blackhawk down (the book) it mentions the guys in delta worry more about hitting their heads on windows and doors thus wearing hockey helmets. Generally the special forces guys don't wear helmets.

In 40k, I think that yes, its a snap shot in time, but most likely a squad leader needs full situational awareness. The risk of getting a man killed because you had tunnel vision is far greater than a chance shot to the head. Again, head shots are difficult. Especially if you are constantly moving, turning, and walking on uneven terrain.

djinn8
23-09-2008, 19:17
I thought it was obvious? They don't wear helmets because in the centuries they've been fighting they've learned to catch bullets with there teeth. :D

TheRoadWarrior
23-09-2008, 19:21
Or does that missile launcher Marine run around his launcher shouldered and looking through the sight at all times? Does that sergeant point his chainsword and yell where ever he goes?

yes, they do.

KingTut
23-09-2008, 19:39
Calgar's a bad example, since he does , but you'll be hard-pressed to find Commissar model with one on!*


*Cadian Junior Officers don't count.

That is because every good guardsmen knows the power of the emperor protects the commissars and gives them the power to stare into the eyes of the sniper paralyzing the sniper with fear.

MrBigMr
23-09-2008, 20:08
No, the commissar just takes comfort in the fact that he has an entire regiment between him and the enemy.


As for sniping Guard commander across the battlefield, the Eldar can do better than that: In the CA2004 under the armoured company rules, there's a nice bit of fluff in which a Farseer spots the Guard commander stapping out of his Chimera, at which point the Eldar makes his head explodes.

"Another glorious victory in His n-AGHBLR!"
*Splurt!*

Sekhmet
23-09-2008, 20:16
Indeed background wise the only time marines seem to go into battle without their helmets is in cases of severly reduced visibility (where the helmet just reduces it even more) or where what their opponent's using isn't going to care if you've got a helmet on or not. (see buddy fighting the Laer in Fulgrim)


That doesn't make sense, since helmets include sensors that even a space marine's naked eye doesn't have. It seems helmets would be required in reduced visibility rather than a burden.


Sniping is a coward's tactic (unless when used by the servants of His Undying Glory to take down vile heretics). The Uplifting Primer teaches you to stand firm and look the enemy in the eye. It's a case of 19th century tactics in a 20th century warfare a la WW1.

As many have said already, actually hitting the head is quite hard. Ever tried it? Even at a firing range it's not easy, let alone when the targets are moving and shooting back! Head is a nasty target in a sense that it's not that big, sticks out and there's nothing around it really. So if you miss, you miss. But aim for the center mass and even if you miss the enemy's stomach, you're sure to hit his limbs, chest, groin, etc. They never taught us to aim for the head for extra damage in the army. It was always "make a gut shot, it'll disable him and draw fighting men to treat the wounded soldier."

While I agree in general, I'm curious as to what military you served in?

In the US, they teach us two in the center mass and one in the head due to the prevalence of body armor. Two in the center mass with a side arm will most likely just make the other guy stagger backwards if he has body armor. And as you've already pointed out, helmets offer almost no protection against direct fire.



And just because a models doesn't have a helmet on him, does not mean he doesn't have a helmet at all. Remember, people, the minies are not "as it is happening" type of things, but merely markers for the actual models. Or does that missile launcher Marine run around his launcher shouldered and looking through the sight at all times? Does that sergeant point his chainsword and yell where ever he goes?
Actually, I don't know about sergeants, but commissars do point their chainswords and yell wherever they go.

RusVal
23-09-2008, 20:39
Speaking of Commissars, as usual Ciaphas Cain does a great job lampshading this.
In one book (Duty Calls I believe) he fights alongside some SoBs, and he makes a point about how crazy they are to go into battle without a helmet of some sort. The Inquisitor who is editing the story quips that since this was from a man who goes to warzones with a fancy looking hat on, that he must have been speaking from the heart. She then goes on to mention that the Sisters believe heavily in the Emperor protecting them, apparently including their cute little faces.

MrBigMr
23-09-2008, 20:44
While I agree in general, I'm curious as to what military you served in?

In the US, they teach us two in the center mass and one in the head due to the prevalence of body armor. Two in the center mass with a side arm will most likely just make the other guy stagger backwards if he has body armor. And as you've already pointed out, helmets offer almost no protection against direct fire.
FDF, the Finnish Defence Force as a guerrilla medic. Mainly trained in behind the lines action. And fixing people up. We didn't have sidearms. Nor anything fancy. Just me RK. and explosives. And me med-kit.

Lord Inquisitor
23-09-2008, 23:06
The background varies in how long they're meant to serve for each stud, but certainly not 1 stud per year! It may represent variation between chapters, but the most common one seems to be one stud for each full CENTURY of service. So more than three studs would be very uncommon.

Obviously this can't apply across the board. Even with one stud per century, dante should have 10 studs!

As for invisible forcefields, it comes from way back in Space Hulk - there was fluff saying that the Marine Terminator Captain (without a helmet) was protected by a forcefield.

The (boring!) answer is simply, they do wear helmets in battle, but to distinguish the models they are depicted with them off. Then again, we know that the heroes will a) take off their helmet to wave their silky locks at the camera and b) not take an unlucky hit to the head!

Koryphaus
23-09-2008, 23:30
Like that poor bugger in Saving Private Ryan, who gets hit in the head, but the helmet saves him. Takes it off to look at it, and POP goes his head as another bullet flies in..

TheRoadWarrior
23-09-2008, 23:53
i rember that. my friend was cracking up during that.

FifthWindLegion
24-09-2008, 00:03
In Fulgrim, (I think it was) Solomon took his helmet off in the fight with the Laer, basically saying that if anything hit him in the head, it would kill him, helmet or not.

MvS
24-09-2008, 11:02
I think it's not a brilliant idea to look for a consistent answer to this question from the imagery itself. GW writers all have different ideas and these may sometimes contrtadict each other when we get down to fine detail.

I think it's best to look at the themes of the Space Marines and make a decision based upon that. If the Marines are the most militarily elite force humanity have ever produced then I think it is safe to say that they are suppsoed to know everything we know and understand about battle and the risks within it, and much, much more.

They are trained in a way and to a degree that no human in our world has been or can be. They also have endless reems of strategic, tactical and logistical knowledge pumped into their minds through 'psycho-indoctrination'. They live only to fight in warzones and they do this almost none stop from the moment they become Marines to the moment they die, and as they can live for many centuries their battle experience is colossal. They are also trained to set aside their egos in battle - it is only success of the mission that matters. To die before their duty is done is to fail their squad, their Chapter, their Primarch and the Emperor Himself - the worst thing imagineable to all loyal Marines.

So, if we ignore 'real' explanations that Marines are only depicted with helmets off because it gives a little differentiation to the toy soldiers, what can we shine back at this imagery to explain the apparent stupidity, hubris or criminal incompetence of Marines not wearing helmets in battle?

Well, for me there has to be another explanation. It a ritual duel of honour wear only fists or naked blades are used, then perhaps there is a reason to go bearheaded. But in a firefight? I choose to believe that there must be a mini-forcefield of some sort protecting them. Aside from the dangers of head injuroes, a Marine without his helmet will miss out on all the othert benefits it bestows (filters and oxygen mask, protection against vacuum, battlefield displays and tactical information, communications with the worst noises of the battlefield compensated against and so on).

So yes. Helmetless sergeant/officer = Force field to protect against projectiles and offer a breathable environment and retinal inner-ear implants to compensate for all that is lost by removing a power-armoured helmet.

EmMeTt
24-09-2008, 12:15
If you've ever read the space wolf book grey hunter (I think), Sergeant Hakon, the big tough guy, gets taken out by a renegade guardsman who gets a lucky shot off and pops the Space Wolfs skull open.

Sai-Lauren
24-09-2008, 13:07
I've always figured the pose is a point in time - they're not like the army men in Toy Story, hopping around on their bases, or the guard tank commander character in TSOALR - who's always shouting because he's been sculpted with his mouth wide open.

And if it bothers you, file the bottom part off a spare helmet and glue it on the marine somewhere (e.g. sat on his hip, held in his hand as though he's just taken it off, damaged and thrown on the floor, with a bit of blood around) - there's plenty of older figures that have that kind of arrangement anyway.

MvS
24-09-2008, 13:40
If you've ever read the space wolf book grey hunter (I think), Sergeant Hakon, the big tough guy, gets taken out by a renegade guardsman who gets a lucky shot off and pops the Space Wolfs skull open.
Which, to me, affirms the point that this is just personal taste and narrative device for and by various writers.

The idea that the most highly trained, konwledgable and experienced soldiers/warriors of all humanity would be so stupid as to risk the success of a their mission just because they want to go 'bear head' for aesthetic reasons seems a bit stupid to me.

PondaNagura
24-09-2008, 14:41
hmm, guess space puppies skulls aren't as thickheaded as i thought them to be.

Lord Inquisitor
24-09-2008, 14:46
Space Wolves are the one Chapter where they really DO avoid wearing helmets - this has been stated many times. The main reason for this (other than prodigious facial hair!) is that their gene-seed quirk that gives them superhuman smell doesn't work that well within a helmet.

ChaosTicket
24-09-2008, 15:03
How many times would an enemy be able to fire a precise shot, at a marines' head which already has a hardened bone structure while at the same time being fire on by marine squads?

Imperial Guard are the ones that have helmet problems, being that enemies with Sniper weapons targets officers if they were identifying officer caps.

How many armies have Sniper weapons, let's see Eldar, Imperial Guard, Space Marines, hmm anyone else?

Sai-Lauren
24-09-2008, 16:11
How about Tau rail rifles and the Exitus long rifle of the Vindicare? Admittedly, they're probably powerful enough to go straight through any personal armour bar TDA, but it's the thought that counts.

But the problem isn't actually with aimed shots - it's shrapnel from explosions, ricochets off walls, plus having exposed skin when faced with NBC weapons and so on.

Not to mention a swift set of knuckles to the nose, or a finger in the eye, when in melee combat. ;)

Basically, all the stuff that you really, really need a helmet for - an aimed (or unaimed) shot to the head will pretty much render you non-combatant anyway, whether you're wearing a helmet or not.

LexxBomb
24-09-2008, 16:12
tau... jus6t wait for necrons to have them. I guess Orks could get some (hell the zapp gun is one almost)

MvS
24-09-2008, 16:30
How many times would an enemy be able to fire a precise shot, at a marines' head
Well, I would imagine a couple of guys armed with basic automatic weapons all aiming for the charging Marine's head on full auto would probably do the job. Or maybe the snipeers scattered around the upper sections of nearby ruins or whatever. Add both these factors together and you have a lot of dead and dying Marines he couldn't even kick themselves for being so stupid even if they wanted to.

And with regard to the Space Wolves and their sense of smell, whereas that's a nice bit of characterful imagery, we still have to apply a little logic to when it would be most applicable. Perhaps while making sweeps across hostile terrain their sense of smell might help them stalk their enemies (if they're willing to risk sniper fire), but during a pitched firefight with the overpowering smells of explosives, cordite, burning prometheum, other sorts of smoke and ash, blood and guts, etc, etc, then the Space Wolves' sense of smell isn't so important that I think they would risk death and failure by removing their helmets.

All these smells are overpowering to normal humans so I dread to think what they would do to the sensitive mucus membrane of the Space Wolves. Even if they didn't overpower the Wolves, what benefit is gained from smelling a whole lot of nasty scents while missiles, grenades, flames and laser fire are pouring down? It's a question of which is most immediately useful to their survival and the success of their mission - an ability to smell sweat on the wind from a mile away or head protection from the manifold forms of death raining down on them right at that moment?

Again, the helmets-off thing is a device from the models that has been squashed into the imagery to tie it to the models. In 'real' terms, a soldier going into the sort of insane warfare that is supposed to be present in the 40th millennium won't last long without a helmet (and even then...!), hence I think it would have to be much, much rarer than the models or some references from Bill King novels (and his inheritors) might otherwise imply.

stormblade
24-09-2008, 16:38
All these smells are overpowering to normal humans so I dread to think what they would do to the sensitive mucus membrane of the Space Wolves. Even if they didn't overpower the Wolves, what benefit is gained from smelling a whole lot of nasty scents while missiles, grenades, flames and laser fire are pouring down? It's a question of which is most immediately useful to their survival and the success of their mission - an ability to smell sweat on the wind from a mile away or head protection from the manifold forms of death raining down on them right at that moment?


Then Eldar heads should explode at the sound of bolter fire.

Sekhmet
24-09-2008, 16:51
Helmets are to protect from shrapnel, random falling debris and to give the soldier a sense of protection.

Space marines have such thick skulls that falling debris does nothing. They have such good reflexes that they can dodge shrapnel. And finally, they need no sense of protection - it's the Xenos that needs the confidence boost.

But seriously, helmets are even MORE important in 40k due to the prevalence of close combat in which a helmet can actually save you from a sword blow.

MvS
24-09-2008, 17:20
Then Eldar heads should explode at the sound of bolter fire.
...hence I also have a problem with Eldar going bareheaded into a warzone as well...

MrBigMr
24-09-2008, 17:45
But seriously, helmets are even MORE important in 40k due to the prevalence of close combat in which a helmet can actually save you from a sword blow.
Actually, helmets limit your vield of vision greatly, which is important in close combat. I've seen people with full helms not able to see anything apart from a narrow section before them. Yes, they save you from a blow but there's also the fact that you could be more agile without one. But that's why I opt to use a chain hood.


...hence I also have a problem with Eldar going bareheaded into a warzone as well...
Ever heard of ear plugs? Besides, they don't carry bolters. Just shoot the Imperials before they get too close to blow their heads, it's all good. As for shooting, I don't know if there's some physical backing to it, but I noticed that when rifing my rifle I never really heard my own shot, just the echo of it. But I did hear the cocking action of it with each shot, which was more fun than a barrel of monkies.

PondaNagura
24-09-2008, 17:53
the power armor marines wear is some sophisticated gear. the helmets they use are more than just ablative plates. the viewing slits are more optics than directly transparent material. they enhance field and spectrums of vision. and as power armor, due to the black carapace and the implants, is like a second skin to their movement, i'd imagine the helmet optics are like a greater pair of eyes...beyond their already enhanced vision. so the limiting field of vision thing doesn't hold up too well.

olmsted
24-09-2008, 18:08
ITT People who dont undestand Space Wolves and their incredible sense of smell.

anything the helmet can do their nose can do better.

sulla
24-09-2008, 18:22
Which, to me, affirms the point that this is just personal taste and narrative device for and by various writers.

The idea that the most highly trained, konwledgable and experienced soldiers/warriors of all humanity would be so stupid as to risk the success of a their mission just because they want to go 'bear head' for aesthetic reasons seems a bit stupid to me.

It was not uncommon for a mediaevil commander to remove his helmet for extra visibility and to inspire his troops with his presence and calmness in the face of danger. Similarly, even in combat, tank commanders in WWII often rose out of the top hatch to better see the battlefield and threats to the tank. I imagine both reasons may still be just as valid in the grim darkness of the far flung future as they were in our history.
Also, if marine helmets are on a similar calibre of protection as most helmets throughout history, I imagine their protection will be of a far lesser degree than the rest of their body armour, so despite the increased risks of going helmetless, the advantages of visibility, manouverability and the inspriational value to the troops may make it worthwhile (in our toy soldier game).

Lord Zarkov
24-09-2008, 20:08
the power armor marines wear is some sophisticated gear. the helmets they use are more than just ablative plates. the viewing slits are more optics than directly transparent material. they enhance field and spectrums of vision. and as power armor, due to the black carapace and the implants, is like a second skin to their movement, i'd imagine the helmet optics are like a greater pair of eyes...beyond their already enhanced vision. so the limiting field of vision thing doesn't hold up too well.

Aye hence they are described as being fitted with auspexes in both Inquisitor and also I think 2nd ed 40K. Heck in Inquisitor it has highly advanced auspexes IIRC which give better vision than normal sight. Not to mention it has an armour value somewhere between carapace armour and power armour. True it won't stop a bolt round but will stop a las round or a regular bullet most of the time

imperial_scholar
25-09-2008, 01:01
the power armor marines wear is some sophisticated gear. the helmets they use are more than just ablative plates. the viewing slits are more optics than directly transparent material. they enhance field and spectrums of vision. and as power armor, due to the black carapace and the implants, is like a second skin to their movement, i'd imagine the helmet optics are like a greater pair of eyes...beyond their already enhanced vision. so the limiting field of vision thing doesn't hold up too well.

yea, but there is a lot to be said for Peripheral vision, I know its helped me dodge a fist or two in my time.

Koryphaus
25-09-2008, 01:10
People with military background have been saying that they've been trained to fire two shots into the center mass of the target, then follow this up with 1 round to the head.

So I have been thinking, if that theory holds true, it would help you to hit a marine in the head. Often a Marine's shoulder pads come up level with at least half his helmet, and the backpack comes up even further. For an onlooker, or opponent shooting at the Marine, this effectively moves the helmet more towards the centre of the body (by having more stuff around the head, than if the head were sticking out by itself, as it does on a guardsman or scout).

Maybe I'm way off base here, but its just a thought..

PondaNagura
25-09-2008, 02:00
yeah but there's a whole lot more marine than just head, shoulders, barrel-chested torso, bolter, if they're cradling it more...and that's assuming they're facing you at all. most of the time they charge with bolter in hand, so they're exposing their flank, which the shoulder will block most of. and forget a rear shot with those massive powerpacks.

as for the peripheral vision, i was think along the lines that the optics would compensate for that, hence optics and not viewing slits. marine gear is topnotch stuff, not that hand me wear the rest of the imperium gets.

Lord Inquisitor
25-09-2008, 02:43
Space marines have such thick skulls that falling debris does nothing. They have such good reflexes that they can dodge shrapnel. And finally, they need no sense of protection - it's the Xenos that needs the confidence boost.
It always amazes me how much people seem to exaggerate and believe the exaggerations of Marines in the background.

They have tougher and thicker bones, that's true. Not so tough and thick they can necessarily withstand masonry blocks landing on it.

They have superior reflexes, yes. So fast that they can dodge shrapnel as it flies through the air? No. Note that there is no actual organ that increases reaction speed, this is due to hypno-indoctrination and training.

They don't need a confidence boost, true. They are also not foolish, and wouldn't expose their heads without good reason.


as for the peripheral vision, i was think along the lines that the optics would compensate for that, hence optics and not viewing slits. marine gear is topnotch stuff, not that hand me wear the rest of the imperium gets.
Depends how good the optics are. From what I've read, this can vary rather a bit. I would say that while the Wolves certainly exacerbate this a great deal, the use of a helmet is something of a tradeoff. While the helmet obviously offers protection and a host of HUD information (particularly for sergeants and commanders) as well as optical augmentation, it doesn't quite replace a marine's natural senses. In some ways superior, but especially under situations like electrical interference or when smell is required, it isn't a substitute for the good old fashioned eyeball (or nose, as the case may be).

Sai-Lauren
25-09-2008, 08:29
Space marines have such thick skulls that falling debris does nothing. They have such good reflexes that they can dodge shrapnel. And finally, they need no sense of protection - it's the Xenos that needs the confidence boost.

Orks have even thicker skulls and have a higher constitution anyway - and a brick to the skull will still kill them.
Eldar are much more agile, but even they can't dodge shrapnel, or the blast shock waves.

Don't believe the hype - they may be the best a human can possibly be, but they're still human, with all the implicit limitations there of.



Similarly, even in combat, tank commanders in WWII often rose out of the top hatch to better see the battlefield and threats to the tank. I imagine both reasons may still be just as valid in the grim darkness of the far flung future as they were in our history.

Rarely - allied doctrine was to get an infantryman hanging onto the back of the turret calling down what he could see to the tank crew.

And eventually, they even put a microphone on the outside so that the crew could hear him. ;)

The commander might open the top, but that would be to use his pintle MG, not for observation purposes.

Sekhmet
25-09-2008, 09:44
It always amazes me how much people seem to exaggerate and believe the exaggerations of Marines in the background.

They have tougher and thicker bones, that's true. Not so tough and thick they can necessarily withstand masonry blocks landing on it.

They have superior reflexes, yes. So fast that they can dodge shrapnel as it flies through the air? No. Note that there is no actual organ that increases reaction speed, this is due to hypno-indoctrination and training.

They don't need a confidence boost, true. They are also not foolish, and wouldn't expose their heads without good reason.


I can't believe someone actually took that snippet of my post seriously. Especially since I wrote:


But seriously, helmets are even MORE important in 40K due to the prevalence of close combat in which a helmet can actually save you from a sword blow.
Immediately following that paragraph.


Actually, helmets limit your vield of vision greatly, which is important in close combat. I've seen people with full helms not able to see anything apart from a narrow section before them. Yes, they save you from a blow but there's also the fact that you could be more agile without one. But that's why I opt to use a chain hood.

I thought Marine helmets neurally interfaced with the wearer's nervous system at the brain stem, somehow allowing them to feel entirely as if they weren't wearing power armor. Like they become the suit in every way.


People with military background have been saying that they've been trained to fire two shots into the center mass of the target, then follow this up with 1 round to the head.

So I have been thinking, if that theory holds true, it would help you to hit a marine in the head. Often a Marine's shoulder pads come up level with at least half his helmet, and the backpack comes up even further. For an onlooker, or opponent shooting at the Marine, this effectively moves the helmet more towards the centre of the body (by having more stuff around the head, than if the head were sticking out by itself, as it does on a guardsman or scout).

Maybe I'm way off base here, but its just a thought..
You bring up an interesting point, although perhaps unintentionally. I know the backpacks are fusion reactors (not fission) and thus can't chain reaction out of control - but what if you somehow missed the marine's head, but hit the backpack generator and damaged both the cooling system and the failsafes that shut it down on over heating?

Sai-Lauren
25-09-2008, 12:10
You bring up an interesting point, although perhaps unintentionally. I know the backpacks are fusion reactors (not fission) and thus can't chain reaction out of control - but what if you somehow missed the marine's head, but hit the backpack generator and damaged both the cooling system and the failsafes that shut it down on over heating?

All that happens (and it's long odds IMO), they're non-combatant, same as if they're badly injured.

Presumably there's a small battery backup to allow them to retire from the field, or the fibre bundles go soft, meaning they can walk away, but can't really fight (as they'll lose life support amongst other things, meaning they'll need to get out of the suit PDQ).

FifthWindLegion
25-09-2008, 12:55
I thought Marine helmets neurally interfaced with the wearer's nervous system at the brain stem, somehow allowing them to feel entirely as if they weren't wearing power armor. Like they become the suit in every way.


While it clearly states that Marines in Power Armor become much faster, stronger, etc., it never mentions their vision with the helmet on. I would imagine it would still limi ttheir vision, but their tactical display would be able to pick up something moving on the very edge of their vision if their enhanced eyesight didn't already.

Argastes
25-09-2008, 13:24
It was not uncommon for a mediaevil commander to remove his helmet for extra visibility and to inspire his troops with his presence and calmness in the face of danger. Similarly, even in combat, tank commanders in WWII often rose out of the top hatch to better see the battlefield and threats to the tank. I imagine both reasons may still be just as valid in the grim darkness of the far flung future as they were in our history.

Tank commanders even today often open up their hatch and stick their head to get a better view of the situation. Unfortunately this makes them quite vulnerable to snipers, as has been learned over and over again in conflicts such as Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan (both the Russians' and ours), the Israeli tank operations in Lebanon and in the Yom Kippur war, Chechnya, and so on and so forth. Tank commanders quickly learn to minimize the time they spend with their heads out of the hatch in any conflict where there is a sniper threat.


Also, if marine helmets are on a similar calibre of protection as most helmets throughout history, I imagine their protection will be of a far lesser degree than the rest of their body armour, so despite the increased risks of going helmetless, the advantages of visibility, manouverability and the inspriational value to the troops may make it worthwhile (in our toy soldier game).

Hmm, I don't know about this. There have been large chunks of history where a soldier's head was BETTER protected than his body. In various periods and in various places, it has often been common practice for soldiers to wear rigid metal helmets in conjunction with less effective body armor, because metal armor is expensive and if you can only afford a little bit, you are generally going to put it on the most important part of your body (your head) and settle for less effective protection for the rest of your body. Thus, when you look at the gear of common soldiers throughout history, you often see a metal helmet combined with body armor of leather, horn, or fabric. Even in the modern age, up until the quite recent introduction of ceramic inserts in body armor, the helmet was more effective than the body armor (if any body armor was worn at all). For much of the 20th century, troops wore a steel helmet, but nothing more than a cloth jacket for their bodies. Many armies still don't issue body armor, but do issue helmets. In US service, the PASGT helmet offered more effective ballistic protection than the PASGT vest (although now, Interceptor armor with it's plates is more effective than the MICH).

Anyhow, where there is a disparity between the protective value of the helmet and the protective value of the body armor, it tends to be because the body armor is able to make use of materials or construction techniques that cannot be used on the helmet because of weight considerations (even a few extra pounds weighing down the head can lead to rapid fatigue, because the neck muscles are constantly straining). This is the case with the Interceptor vest and the MICH, for instance; adding a layer of carbide ceramics to the helmet would simply make it to heavy. I would think this is largely a non-issue for Marines, because their armor is power-assisted and the weight of the helmet is not borne by the Marine's head and neck. There is no reason the helmet can't protect just as well as any other part of the power armor.

Wiseman
25-09-2008, 14:02
Way i see it is that helmets are warn by all, at least into battle. They may remove them on the odd occassion due to damage to the helmet, or the senses in it, or to allow them greater movement/visibility/etc. Some more savage Marines may prefer to have no helmet on for CC purposes, like to see with their own two eyes the oppoonent, and the smell of blood, so removes it then as well. The only time a person will enter battle without one is the leaders of the Chapters and Companies, and thats because they are equipped with Iron Halo's anyway, which is a force field that covers their face and gives a greater degree of protection then the helmet would anyway.

MrBigMr
25-09-2008, 14:31
While it clearly states that Marines in Power Armor become much faster, stronger, etc., it never mentions their vision with the helmet on. I would imagine it would still limi ttheir vision, but their tactical display would be able to pick up something moving on the very edge of their vision if their enhanced eyesight didn't already.
Isn't Dark Crusade intro from the eyes of a Marine. And I remember seeing some flash animation on GW site that was from a Marine's eyes. Had all sorts of HUD crap in it and such.

Just because you become one with your suit doesn't make it invisible. You're one with your body but you can't admire your own ass without a mirror.

Lord Inquisitor
25-09-2008, 15:00
I can't believe someone actually took that snippet of my post seriously. Especially since I wrote:
:o ... if you were being sarcastic then that's quite another thing, my bad...

Says something about the abounding exaggerations of the "superness" of marines that I took you serious! :D

Koryphaus
25-09-2008, 15:05
There is some Iron Hands fluff in a White Dwarf (the one where they released the Iron Hands tac squad IIRC) where a Marine loses an eye and gets a bionic replacement. He can then cycle through various magnification levels and see in infrared etc. I'd envisage this to be what a marine sees through his helmet vision.

MrBigMr
25-09-2008, 15:38
There is some Iron Hands fluff in a White Dwarf (the one where they released the Iron Hands tac squad IIRC) where a Marine loses an eye and gets a bionic replacement. He can then cycle through various magnification levels and see in infrared etc. I'd envisage this to be what a marine sees through his helmet vision.
Reminds me of Riddick and Pitch Black.
"How do I get an eye like that?"
"First you have to get shot in the face. Then get sent to a medical facility where you bribe a Magos with a pack of cigarettes."

Aliarzathanil
26-09-2008, 23:26
I'm surprised no one has brought this up yet, but I can think of a very good reason a marine would go without a helmet. Two words: blood spray. In a mid to long range fire fight I think I'd be kinda silly to go without, but I think in hand to hand the visibility advantage would be important as well as limiting the effect of blood and gore getting in the way of visibility. Ever tried to wipe a lens clean with the back of a ceramite gauntlet? Me neither, but I bet It'd be a pain in the ass in a fight. It's not like they carry towels and squeeges. They do carry huge chainswords that they tear into all many of xenos and rebels with. I bet orks make a mess, and tyranids are probably gross as hell too.

ThunderShrike.
26-09-2008, 23:37
But what if acid flies into eyes when your cutting up a nid with your chainsword?


"Argh my eyes!". Shocking.

Leman Russ
27-09-2008, 00:51
But what if acid flies into eyes when your cutting up a nid with your chainsword?


"Argh my eyes!". Shocking.

Well, marines have a second protective eyelid like crocodiles :p

Argastes
27-09-2008, 01:31
I'm surprised no one has brought this up yet, but I can think of a very good reason a marine would go without a helmet. Two words: blood spray. In a mid to long range fire fight I think I'd be kinda silly to go without, but I think in hand to hand the visibility advantage would be important as well as limiting the effect of blood and gore getting in the way of visibility. Ever tried to wipe a lens clean with the back of a ceramite gauntlet? Me neither, but I bet It'd be a pain in the ass in a fight. It's not like they carry towels and squeeges. They do carry huge chainswords that they tear into all many of xenos and rebels with. I bet orks make a mess, and tyranids are probably gross as hell too.

Very good point. I am impressed; this is probably the most pragmatic reason given thus far for Marines going bare-headed. They certainly do practice a style of warfare that involves a lot of blood and gore splattering everywhere.

Koryphaus
27-09-2008, 02:00
I'd see them having an automatic claning system (like in Star Wars: Republic Commando) that automatically wipes clean the lenses when something gets on them.

MrBigMr
27-09-2008, 03:57
But what if acid flies into eyes when your cutting up a nid with your chainsword?


"Argh my eyes!". Shocking.
And what makes you think the helmet would fare any better? Didn't know that:

PondaNagura
27-09-2008, 04:07
i second the cleaning system, like a better pair of eyes, a better tearduct system.
granted all of this pros/cons is mere speculation. too bad GW never had an index astartes write up on the cans cannots of power armor...

Feor
27-09-2008, 04:09
Well, marines have a second protective eyelid like crocodiles

Against most tyranids, that just mens they have enough time to go "Well, that wasn't so... AH MY EYES!"

MvS
27-09-2008, 10:37
Regardless of any 'real world' examples as can be dredged up, I would stick my neck out and guarantee anyone on these boards that if you join any armed forces, either fulltime or as a reservist, and then try to enter a distance firefight or close quarters hand-to-hand combat without head protection, you will either be severely injured/die pretty quickly or else your immediate CO/NCO will strip your ears from your head with the amount of WTF he'll be shouting at you. In fact, try even going on maneuvers or another training excerise without your helmet and see how far you get before someone smacks you round the head and sends you to the Sin Bin.

My point is, expending too much effort trying to find a 'realistic' reason to explain why super-elite and experienced commandos would regularly go into massive firefights and H+H combat without head protection is a bit of a non-starter. It simply wouldn't happen, unless because of some extremely unusual circumstance, like all the comms systems in the helmets getting interefered with so they let off an ear-piercing scream that can't be shut down.

Even the blood issue mentioned previously isn't convincing enough, because in the 40K universe we have aliens and daemons and mutants with blood that is either infected with virulent diseases or else is extremey toxic for other reasons, and no super-eite Marine would be daft enough to want to get the stuff on his skin, let alone in his eyes and mouth.

Yes we can find writers who give examples of Marines running around helmetless, but to my mind that is the writer attempting much the same as many others are trying to do on this thread - explain the look of the miniatures. 'Realistically' though, it's a bit of a nonsense, particularly when you look at how few Marines there are supposed to be in each Chapter. They wouldn't risk their resources (ie: actual Marines) willy-nilly just because of ego or a good sense of smell.

Honest guv.

Octavius_Maximus
27-09-2008, 10:54
Marines dont wear helmets, helmets wear marines.

MrBigMr
27-09-2008, 11:11
Regardless of any 'real world' examples as can be dredged up, I would stick my neck out and guarantee anyone on these boards that if you join any armed forces, either fulltime or as a reservist, and then try to enter a distance firefight or close quaters hand-to-hand combat without head protection, you will either be severely injured/die pretty quickly or else your immediate CO/NCO will strip your ears from your head with the amount of WTF he'll be shouting at you. In fact, try even going on maneuvers or another training excerise without your helmet and see how far you get before someone smacks you round the head and sends you to the Sin Bin.
I remember a documentary on the Royal Marines and in one bit they went on a foot patrol through the hostile part of a city with only boonie hats on because it made them less threatening to civies. In some WW2 era pictures, especially during winter troops might be wearing warm hats instead of helmets (which wouldn't fit over the large hats). In Band of Brothers when they cross the river to take prisoners, they leave their helmets behind because they would rattle too much. Stuff like that.

Naturally the stance would be to wear helmets when ever possible because it's like putting on a jimmy hat even if she's on the pill. Never can be too careful really. As already mentioned, bullets aren't the only things flying around in a firefight. We were often told to wear helmets in live fire training, but at least for us the usage of helmets during longer exercises was more optional. Like I said, they rattle. Defeats the purpose of being all stealthy and as a result getting shot at.


'Realistically' though, it's a bit of a nonsense, particularly when you look at how few Marines there are supposed to be in each Chapter. They wouldn't risk their resources (ie: actual Marines) willy-nilly just because of ego or a good sense of smell.
That's why it's a good thing the Marines know how to camouflage themselves, tuck away all loose items, don't wear anything shiny and always remember to use what ever cover is available. Oh, wait...

JOBusse
27-09-2008, 11:37
If Space Marine helmets have onboard comms, sensors, rebreathers and HUDs, then it may, in fact, be the most complex piece of equipment that they wear. The Power Pack is probably the only thing comparable. Anyway, if anything goes wrong (ie, extensive damage or just parts malfunction), it may take a while to repair.

Remember that we're not really dealing with a technological society here. Space Marine armor is essentially a special-issue artefact. If some part of it is lost or damaged, it's not simply replaced, but repaired or remade.

In the meantime, as long as the armor is usable and the Marine himself in fighting trim (ie, not dead), he is probably expected to take the field and fight. After all, that's what he's made for.

MvS
27-09-2008, 15:03
I remember a documentary on the Royal Marines and in one bit they went on a foot patrol through the hostile part of a city with only boonie hats on because it made them less threatening to civies.
Indeed, and this is for the policing of potentially hostile urban environments, not for combat operations. In fact when the security situation in Basra deteriorated, all military personal went back to wearing full battledress. Since the Horus Heresy I doubt any Marine Chapters have been called on to police cities, even potentially dangerous ones. Space Marines aren't there to win 'hearts and minds'...


In some WW2 era pictures, especially during winter troops might be wearing warm hats instead of helmets (which wouldn't fit over the large hats).
Which could indeed tie in with what I said about their being an exceptional and pressing reason for the troops not to wear their helmets. In the case you give the inability to think clearly because of the cold and the risk of hyperthermia might be good enough reasons to forego the protection of a helmet. Even that said though, there are still plenty of photographs and documentary footage of troops wearing various sorts of balaclavas and/or scarves wrapped around their heads along with their helmets.

I'm sure the troops would have preferred to have been able to wear their helmets as well as personal armour. It wasn't that they simply preferred not wearing them. There are always a few troopers who don't mind taking the risk of leaving behind 'heavy' items of personal armour if they think they can get away with it, but the stories of shrapnel damage and stray bullets catching soldiers where their armour should have been is enough to tell me that the soldiers who do throw off armour without exceptionally good reasons are either inexperienced, deluded by notions of their own luck or indestructibility or just a tad stupid.


In Band of Brothers when they cross the river to take prisoners, they leave their helmets behind because they would rattle too much. Stuff like that.
Like a secret behind-eney-lines operation? That's plausible, though risky - but that's the nature of the job sometimes, right?

In terms of the 40K setting I would imagine this sort of role would be fulfilled by Marine Scouts who don't usually wear helmets. That said, Marines aren't really called upon for 'snatch' missions or to the take prisoners. Leave that to Imperial Guard Special Forces.

Space Marines are the Emperor's Angels of Death. They arrive, kill every enemy in sight and destroy all means of resistance. If the enemy surrender during a firfight then I imagine that there might be some Cghapters who take POW's if the situation allows, perhaps only to make and official example of them later. Most Chapters are of the Point And Kill variety however.


We were often told to wear helmets in live fire training, but at least for us the usage of helmets during longer exercises was more optional. Like I said, they rattle. Defeats the purpose of being all stealthy and as a result getting shot at.

Aha, guerilla fighting and 'assymetric' warfare, yes? Different style of strategy really. Lightly armoured, fast moving, highly maneuverable and with excellent knowledge of the land. This, to me, sounds like Space Marine scouts again, not heavily armed, super-shock troop battle brother Space Marines or man-tank, right in the thick of it, Tactical Dreadnought 'Terminators'.


That's why it's a good thing the Marines know how to camouflage themselves, tuck away all loose items, don't wear anything shiny and always remember to use what ever cover is available. Oh, wait...
:D

Exactly! If you're slamming into the middle of enemy lines in a drop pods then bursting out into the heart of enemy armoured positions wearing bright red or yellow armour, chances are you're going to expect to be attracting a load of badassery in terms of light and medium munitions, shrapnel, super-heated fuel, acids, toxins and biological agents (being as it's 40K and no-one's even heard of the Geneva or Ottowa Conventions with respect to armaments).

There are doubtlessly times when a Marine might go helmetless - I'm not denying this - but the frequency that it appears in the imagery and with the miniatures is a bit deceptive I think.


Space Marine armor is essentially a special-issue artefact. If some part of it is lost or damaged, it's not simply replaced, but repaired or remade.

In the meantime, as long as the armor is usable and the Marine himself in fighting trim (ie, not dead), he is probably expected to take the field and fight. After all, that's what he's made for.

But remember that Marines are supposedly trained to maintain their armour as part of their sacred duty. It represents their lives, which belong to the Emperor. To die without serving the Emperor's purpose is to die in vain and is probably a sin.

I would imagine that repairing or replacing a Power-Armoured helmet is far easier than replacing a Marine who drops dead as soon as he disembarked from his transport because of a head injury. Some Marine Chapter might have so many high calibre recruits who pass all the tests and surgery to become Marines that the Chapter Masters might not care so much about losing the odd helmetless marine to lucky shots... but I doubt it.

Leman Russ
27-09-2008, 15:32
MvS puts it clearly. Marines will usualy wear helmets, the models bareheaded are just for the cool factor.

And yes Marines are the "Kill anything moving within 5 miles" kind of warfare. They are the Spearhead, 1st wave so to speak. They Drop Pod right into the most heavily guarded areas of the enemies command structure, BBQPWN everything, then let the guard mop up the rest while they fly off to the next warzone.

MrBigMr
27-09-2008, 15:45
Space Marines aren't there to win 'hearts and minds'...
Chaos Space Marines are.


Aha, guerilla fighting and 'assymetric' warfare, yes?
Yes.


Different style of strategy really. Lightly armoured, fast moving, highly maneuverable and with excellent knowledge of the land.
"Light" is a word people throw around a little too lightly. Instead of normal troops, we had to carry everything we needed with us. There's little chance of a resupplies, etc. So in some cases the gear weighed more than the man. Some also got flak vests, which wasn't that wide spread to begin with.


This, to me, sounds like Space Marine scouts again, not heavily armed, super-shock troop battle brother Space Marines or man-tank, right in the thick of it, Tactical Dreadnought 'Terminators'.
There goes my terminator armoured Scout sergeant conversion...

But in Storm of Iron the Iron Warriors (in power armour) do a sneaky sneaking action during night to plan ahead their work (and then get spotted and almost shot into pieces). Not to forget that before their invasion they had plenty of power armoured troops on planet placing beacons for torpedos and taking out guard posts.

EDIT: Oh, and there's a scene in where a captain in terminator armour fights without a helmet in a tunnel and gets toxic waste dumbed on him. He lived, but wasn't a very happy camper afterwards.

Hrw-Amen
27-09-2008, 19:50
I am reliably told by a person who was there, (My father) that in the desert in Egypt some soldiers did not wear their helmets because they used them for cooking stuff in and as such they were full of muck. Not that I'm suggesting SM fry eggs in their helmets but it does show that in real long term battle deployments regardless of what the rules say sometimes things lapse.

As for an NCO bawling you out for not having your helmet on, well he may do that to rank and file, but when the soldier not wearing his helmet is the company or battlion commander that may be a different matter and it would seam that for the most part it is the command staff in SM armies that do this at least according to the minatures.

Sekhmet
27-09-2008, 21:43
I am reliably told by a person who was there, (My father) that in the desert in Egypt some soldiers did not wear their helmets because they used them for cooking stuff in and as such they were full of muck. Not that I'm suggesting SM fry eggs in their helmets but it does show that in real long term battle deployments regardless of what the rules say sometimes things lapse.

As for an NCO bawling you out for not having your helmet on, well he may do that to rank and file, but when the soldier not wearing his helmet is the company or battlion commander that may be a different matter and it would seam that for the most part it is the command staff in SM armies that do this at least according to the minatures.

What service was he in?

Many modern armies issue helmets that cannot be used as a pot to cook stuff in... like the USA for example.

MrBigMr
27-09-2008, 22:08
Yeah... I remember how we were issued with steel helmets at first. Once I was moved to a more "advanced" unit (it seems supply isn't advanced enough) I got a Kevlar. Still have it. Me an my long fingers.

Ranger S2H
27-09-2008, 22:10
i think the to wound roll handles this, every hit wounds, but no marine is going down because of a scratch on his leg. a 6 to wound would represent a headshot.

MvS
28-09-2008, 00:53
Chaos Space Marines are.
Chaos Space Marines 'hearts and minds' operations = ripping out still beating hearts and punching through brains. :D

Although the Word Bearers do like to win converts I suppose.


"Light" is a word people throw around a little too lightly. Instead of normal troops, we had to carry everything we needed with us. There's little chance of a resupplies, etc. So in some cases the gear weighed more than the man. Some also got flak vests, which wasn't that wide spread to begin with.
:)

I mean lightly armed and armoured when comnpared to shock troops (like the Parachute Regiment and elements of the cavalry in the UK army). I didn't mean to imply 'lightly armoured in the sense of the overall eight carried by individual troops so much. Without armoured vehicle backup, air support and the assortment of heavier weapons generally available to 'standard' infantry, guerrillas and other 'assymetric' fighters can indeed be considered more lightly armed and armoured in comparison, generally speaking.


There goes my terminator armoured Scout sergeant conversion...
Hey, there's always Apocalypse...!


But in Storm of Iron the Iron Warriors (in power armour) do a sneaky sneaking action during night to plan ahead their work (and then get spotted and almost shot into pieces). Not to forget that before their invasion they had plenty of power armoured troops on planet placing beacons for torpedos and taking out guard posts.
As the authors (unlike the good people here on Warseer) have had no first-hand experience of far future was with massive genetically altered supermen wearing gigantic suits of highly advanced powered ablative armour, I suppose we can still raise the odd eyebrows about such references.

Mind you, if anyone could 'sneak' around in power armour I suppose it would be a Space Marine. It just wouldn't be that common at all I would imagine.


there's a scene in where a captain in terminator armour fights without a helmet in a tunnel and gets toxic waste dumbed on him. He lived, but wasn't a very happy camper afterwards.
...and so hopefully learns his lesson and stops copying the 'cool kids' by going into highly dangerous combat situations without proper equipment.


Not that I'm suggesting SM fry eggs in their helmets but it does show that in real long term battle deployments regardless of what the rules say sometimes things lapse.
Indeed they do!

Then again, Space Marines are not supposed to be the flawed soldiers of humanity. They are remade from the ground up to be the best and brightest super-soldiers humanity has ever produced, dedicated to winning the immediate fight without hesitation, complaint or quirky cooking habits, don't you agree?


As for an NCO bawling you out for not having your helmet on, well he may do that to rank and file, but when the soldier not wearing his helmet is the company or battlion commander that may be a different matter and it would seam that for the most part it is the command staff in SM armies that do this at least according to the minatures.
Well almost every sergeant and officer in Marine miniature armies have no helmets, so the problem seems endemic. One wonders how they ever maintain any discipline through the ranks with such blatent acts of high ranking mission-threatening hubris on display... ;)

Mannfred
28-09-2008, 07:54
Lol to being with; theres a reason why we have a rule known as the invulnerable save; for sergants lol; their just wannabe hardcore dudes and it helps distingush themselves from the rest. Like theres eldar pathfinders, and like the sergants would be like look at me i'm so hardcore that i don't need a helment...

Koryphaus
28-09-2008, 12:41
..there's a scene in where a captain in terminator armour fights without a helmet in a tunnel and gets toxic waste dumbed on him. He lived, but wasn't a very happy camper afterwards.

Forrix's helmet had just been badly damaged by bolter fire, then when he was engaged in cc, the remainder of the helmet was torn off, and his jaw broke..

MrBigMr
28-09-2008, 13:02
Forrix's helmet had just been badly damaged by bolter fire, then when he was engaged in cc, the remainder of the helmet was torn off, and his jaw broke..
Well there you go then. Next time your opponent asks "why doesn't that dude have a helmet?" you can say "It flew off/it broke/it was damaged and he had to remove it during the battle." What are they gonna say against that?

MvS
28-09-2008, 13:58
Or you could say that it just looks cool, which is also true. :)

I still like to imagine that helmetless Marine Officers and Sergeants have some sort of special localised force field however. It's the rationalisation that appeals to me most. Not that there is an objective 'right' and 'wrong' to discussions like ths of course (we are talking 40K imagery here), just different perceptions of what we find more or less plausible as individuals.

MrBigMr
28-09-2008, 14:17
Doesn't Lego make some sort of a crystal ball bit that fits a head inside it? Get one of those, shave off the bottom parts and glue over your sergeant's head. Bang, protective shielding.

MvS
28-09-2008, 16:15
lol!

You could make a whole army of "Astartonaughts" - armoured space-knight astronaughts with fish-bowl helmets.

Magic. :D

Tanith Ghost
28-09-2008, 18:07
I've always been of the mind that helmets are standard, full stop. Even the captain with the billowing cape wears one. My night lords all sport helmets. Ghend Hokast, Arghen, Krekshar, and all rank and file. Every man wears helmets.

MvS
28-09-2008, 20:27
Mine too, except for a couple of conversions - notably one from a certain Imperial Fists captain...

MrBigMr
28-09-2008, 21:17
I did plan to do a "realistic" SM chapter. They were like IG/Desert Storm Marines with khaki armour, bolters with tactical gear (lasers, vertical grips, scopes, silencers), tripod HWs, diesel powered backpacks, all had helmets (ones with the flashlight/camera on the side), etc. But never got further than a squad.

My USCM IG has some guys without helmets for the sheer "Imma bad MF, man, I'll F you up." I've done them with different styles, sort of Rooke > Trooper > Vet. Rookies have basic gear, all checked. Troopers have some personal stuff and more wear and tear. Mostly just additional items and some slogans and paintings on their gun/armour. Vets are all out bad ass stereotypical 'Nam/scifi soldier guy with an alien skull on the shoulder pad, half destroyer armour, non standard item and modified gear (like a sleeveless jackets, bandanas, etc.). All these are mixed in squads.

My Chaos will have some helmetless troops purely because I don't have anough Mk. 2/3 helmets for all, there's some nice heads I want to use and it's the only way to identify the men and women apart due to their power armour.

Sekhmet
28-09-2008, 21:38
My USCM IG has some guys without helmets for the sheer "Imma bad MF, man, I'll F you up." I've done them with different styles, sort of Rooke > Trooper > Vet. Rookies have basic gear, all checked. Troopers have some personal stuff and more wear and tear. Mostly just additional items and some slogans and paintings on their gun/armour. Vets are all out bad ass stereotypical 'Nam/scifi soldier guy with an alien skull on the shoulder pad, half destroyer armour, non standard item and modified gear (like a sleeveless jackets, bandanas, etc.). All these are mixed in squads.


USCM? United States Colonial Marines? Aliens?

MrBigMr
28-09-2008, 22:09
USCM? United States Colonial Marines? Aliens?
"8 meters... 6... 4... 2..."
"That's impossible, that's inside the room."
"It's reading right, man."
"Well you ain't reading it right!"

Sekhmet
28-09-2008, 22:47
A small quibble - the shoulder mounted lamp is on the left shoulder, not the right shoulder.

MrBigMr
28-09-2008, 22:57
To be frank, it's not even shoulder mounted. It's on the back and the light's on an arm that extends over the shoulder. I just didn't have time to start crafting such detailer items so clipped a bunch of SM scout bolt pistol scopes and slapped them on there.

I have a bunch of metal miniature pulse rifles to use as bolters. Also have a Hasslefree's Signee, alien hunter (http://www.coolminiornot.com/store/product.php?xProd=2019&xSec=17) model. Now everyone cross your fingers that the new Guard codex gives Guard back their combi-bolters. At least combi-flamer and combi-grenade launcher.

Victomorga
29-09-2008, 05:35
I think the helmetless officers came about in order to clearly delineate the sergeants from the rank-and-file. I don't know how far back you guys go, but the old plastic beakies that came 10 for $10 back in RT days only had two heads: beakie and one bionic-eyed sarge.

in some of the BL books I've read they've mentioned personal force-fields around important guys' heads, which is fine with me. some guys have 'em, some guys don't; some of them just have their helmet off for a moment, or got it damaged and took it off, or any one of a million other possible scenarios.

I used to be opposed to having models with no helmets, but really it's just for effect and I've started using the bare heads again.

nice colonial marines, BTW. I'd like to see pics of the SM squad you described with the diesel back packs, tripod HW, etc.

Sai-Lauren
29-09-2008, 08:26
Since the Horus Heresy I doubt any Marine Chapters have been called on to police cities, even potentially dangerous ones. Space Marines aren't there to win 'hearts and minds'...

Yes they are, it's just that when they've won them, they hang them off fortress walls or stick them on spikes as a warning to anyone else. :p

TheRoadWarrior
29-09-2008, 20:24
i thought they just shot them.

Too much working, handing, them making the pointy sticks.

MrBigMr
29-09-2008, 20:32
nice colonial marines, BTW. I'd like to see pics of the SM squad you described with the diesel back packs, tripod HW, etc.
It's late so I won't start setting up a photo studio at this hour, but I'll see if I can get a shot or two of them tomorrow. Maybe some more USCM as well. At the moment those two are the only painted ones as I'm waiting for the new IG codex to see what direction I'm to take this army.


i thought they just shot them.
"King Willy says: not only do I have to kill you, but I also have to take your soul."


Too much working, handing, them making the pointy sticks.
That's why we have the Emperor's Pointy Sticks. And if that's not enough, Pointy Sticks of the Emperor.

"Poke'm inna eye!"

TheRoadWarrior
29-09-2008, 21:48
But what if they had helments, which preveted a headshot?!?!

whitewolfmxc
29-09-2008, 23:14
"8 meters... 6... 4... 2..."
"That's impossible, that's inside the room."
"It's reading right, man."
"Well you ain't reading it right!"

ok , NOW SPILL IT OUT ! where did you get them XD heheheh conversions ? Guide will be good XD

kendaop
30-09-2008, 12:42
The whole "space marines not wearing helmets" thing is easy. They're supposed to be better than humans, right? This means they're way smarter than us. With all the thinking they must do, their heads have got to get hot. I know when I study for hours and hours (ok, maybe just once in my life), my head gets hot from all that brain activity. I bet "in the heat of battle" their heads are toasting inside those tin-foil ovens!

MrBigMr
30-09-2008, 16:11
But what if they had helments, which preveted a headshot?!?!
Are we in the mod or something? Not in the face my ass... You put a slug in the middle of it and all his helmet does is collet the grey goop spilling out of the back of his head.


nice colonial marines, BTW. I'd like to see pics of the SM squad you described with the diesel back packs, tripod HW, etc.
Lets see what I got on film.
46151
Scout Sergeant in terminator armour, armed with a storm bolter and auspex.
46155
Squad (the missile launcher team was still in pieces). Sergeant in terminator armour, armed with a storm bolter and power weapon (TK great weapon, seems to have snapped off). Plasma gun and as I already said, missile launcer "team".


ok , NOW SPILL IT OUT ! where did you get them XD heheheh conversions ? Guide will be good XD
The basic conversion is quite easy. Take Cadian torso, arms and head. File off aquilas to make them more generic scifi troops. Cut the lasgun mussle, bayone lug and scope lenses. Mount the body on SM Scout legs (nees some fixing at the back as Scouts have one hell of a thin waist). Mix in some Catachan stuff when needed.

46156
Top to bottom:
-Veteran troopers and recruits. Just to show the difference. Vets are made with mix of Cadian and Catachan bits.
-HB team. SM Scout HB with AC barrel, GL drum and Melta muzzle. Scout head with camera and eye piece for the gunner. Loader carries and extra drum on his back.
-2 plasma gunners. Cadian flamer arm with a SM plasma gun. Vox-caster helmet camera on the side of the head, Scout Ork skull bit, Cadian and Catachan bits. The lense under the gun is from a SM Scout bolt pistol.
-Tarantula sentry gun. 60mm base, 2 IG tripods, 2 IG lascannon backs, 2 IG HW fronts, 1 pair of IG binoculars cut in half and 2 IG GL drums.

46157
Hardened Veterans. Same deal as with the normal troops, but with SM arms for that extra armoured look. SM Scout heads with the goggles. SM commander head on the sergeant with a power fist and storm bolter. Counts as a normal storm bolter (sort of Winter Assault style wrist storm bolter thingy). At the far right a Doctor Thunder's female Cadian resin kit female torso and head. Armed with a meltagun made from a Tau fusion blaster with an IG missile launcher muzzle and shield.

The grav-shutes are made from CSM backpacks with SM shoulder pads.

46158
Platoon commander (old model, probably gonna do a new one), standard bearer, HSO and techpriest. Lieutenant's a normal Cadian with a tank commander head, SM arms and SM scout bolter. Standard bearer's a normal Cadian with SM arms. Pointy sword arm with a Scout blade (to fit into its sheat), slung bolter and Marine standard. HSO a Macragge Lt. Varras with Marine arms (again, the fist's just a storm bolter). Hit original arms went for a commissar model (forgot to take a pick of it). Techpriest's just a DA Marine with a Space Wolf age, Devastator sergeant fist, backpack and missile launcher backpack arm.