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Surgency
10-10-2008, 13:27
Okay, so we all know the chapter survives through the progenoid gland, and it's the Apothecarion's responsibility to retrieve the gland for future use, but what happens if the gland is not retrievable? Say, for instance, the marine is vaporized, or a whole company is trapped behind enemy lines and destroyed. Is the chapter just out that many progenoids? Because it would seem in that case that it then becomes a battle of attrition, with the remaining progenoids slowly being whittled down over time.

So how do they deal with the progenoids they can't get back?

Iuris
10-10-2008, 13:38
First, there are two progenoid glands per marine. Second, there is also a process allowing the cloning of geneseed as backup, possibly conducted only on terra. It takes 50 years to replicate enough seed for a whole chapter, though.

Lord Malorne
10-10-2008, 13:41
They can't, as you pointed out they are gone.

A Marine has two progenoids, one in the chest IIRC and at the back of the neck/head IIRC, one is harvested after 10 years (IIRC ;)) and the other upon death, wether the one removed earlier grows another is debatable but highly unlikey.

With 2 progenoids one harvested earlier in there life, if they live long enough they have say 1,000 per complete chapter generation, then another 1,000 if they can remove the other ones...between deaths and other reasons for dead marines which may happen before a harvest, or make a harvest untennable then they will have maybe 1,000 out of a possible 2,000 per complete chapter generation.

This is NOT taking into account moving timeline factors like wars, enlarged companies, excess of scouts....etc...

With the adeptus terra (IIRC) taking its tithe every...can't remember, the chapter will still have several hundred progenoids per chapter generation, over the span of hundreds and for some chapters thousands of years the number of usable/stored gene seed should be more than capable of recooping chapter losses with the exception of young chapters.

In the background it has always confused me when some chapters have been 'below the number to continue on' when they should be able to get those losses back.

Surgency
10-10-2008, 13:58
A Marine has two progenoids, one in the chest IIRC and at the back of the neck/head IIRC, one is harvested after 10 years (IIRC ;)) and the other upon death, wether the one removed earlier grows another is debatable but highly unlikey.

Ahh, that makes more sense! I wasn't aware there were two glands, but that clears all the confusion about all that. It all came about when reading about the Crimson Fists destruction in the codex, and going back through and reading about how other chapters had lost so many that the chapter was going to die no matter what. It kinda threw me as to how the CF could survive when apparently so many other chapters couldn't.


In the background it has always confused me when some chapters have been 'below the number to continue on' when they should be able to get those losses back.

That probably takes into account the constant combat of the marines, but I'd imagine that a chapter that was near destruction, and had very few marines left, would marshall their resources and not fight as often, like the Crimson Fists did

Lord Malorne
10-10-2008, 14:04
That probably takes into account the constant combat of the marines, but I'd imagine that a chapter that was near destruction, and had very few marines left, would marshall their resources and not fight as often, like the Crimson Fists did

Thats exacty what happens, page 11 of the new C:SM has info on the progenoids (it was in the chest and neck...yay memory!) as I said its more common and alot easier for a new chapter to be decimated.

The real probem arises with how long it takes to rebuild a chapter, which I guess the adeptus terra considers a waste of resources, as it will take a good part of a century or more to do so, depending on the losses suffered.

Iuris
10-10-2008, 14:30
The space marines need to be trained up too, not just implanted, remember. Even with 1000 reserve geneseed organs in stock, a chapter will be missing its lost members for decades, until they become seasoned marines.

Lord Malorne
10-10-2008, 14:39
As I said, a good part of a century ;).

Chaos Undecided
10-10-2008, 14:50
Thing is you then get GW ignoring their own science with the story in the new 40k rulebook about the Astral Claws raiding and stealing all the geneseed stock on some loyalist chapter (cant be sure which one, Marines Errant possibly) thereby "dooming the chapter to a slow death" despite apparently most of the chapters military force being intact having been drawn away by a diversionary attack.

Also remember the Armageddon background concerning the Celestial Lions who managed to get on the wrong side of the Inquisition somehow and then lost most of their number to a barrage attack during which their apothecary were picked off by "accurate sniper fire", dont know if they were meant to be recovering from that or had been effectively made extinct as a Chapter.

Lord Malorne
10-10-2008, 15:06
GW...creating paradox's since its birth ;).

Iuris
10-10-2008, 15:50
Re: destruction of a chapter

Try these maths:
-all harvestable geneseed is already harvested and stored. More can only be harvested upon the death of a brother marine
-stores are destroyed
-no new recruits can be implanted or trained
-upon the loss of one space marine, a new marine can be implanted, resulting in, at best, a scout in few years and a marine in at best a decade or two

Now, lose 100 marines in an engagement. The chapter can start implantation and training immediately, but the chapter is significantly weakened. Not as many patrols can be maintained. Calls for asistance are unanswered. All the enemies who have ever survived with an encounter finally have the chance for payback.


When significant losses happened to the Blood angels, they actually had to ask for their successor chapters to give them their own marines so the chapter wouldn't die. Which the chapter masters of the successors were quite loath to do.

Lord Malorne
10-10-2008, 15:54
Losing a 100 is not that bad as the reserve companies will be called forward to replace the battle company.

Never heard that about the Bangles...were is that from?

heretics bane
10-10-2008, 16:59
Im pretty sure they would have a few gene banks full in the event of huge losses and with the nature of space marines would be the norm.

Alessander
10-10-2008, 17:21
Losing a 100 is not that bad as the reserve companies will be called forward to replace the battle company.

Never heard that about the Bangles...were is that from?

New BL novels, I'm sure.

Iuris
10-10-2008, 17:35
Yep, the last BL novel.

Really, we keep forgetting that the Space marines can also be a target. Every single chapter will have made tons of enemies during their history. Tyranids will sense weakness wherever Space marine protection of worlds is neglected. Necron combatting forces will lack elite teams capable of entering Tomb worlds and similar. Chaos, well, chaos will be the most interested one in such a chapter.

And if numbers are down... defences are down. Now, just 100 lost may seem few. But think of this: how many more will the chapter lose before it can retrain the scouts?

Oh, yeah: Flesh teares. 4 companies only at the time of the novel, and they were DAMN defensive in attitude.

Brother Siccarius
10-10-2008, 17:50
The real probem arises with how long it takes to rebuild a chapter, which I guess the adeptus terra considers a waste of resources, as it will take a good part of a century or more to do so, depending on the losses suffered.

Each chaper is created for a reason. Be it simply because their parent chapter has too many members or because they're actually needed for a specific task (Astral Claws). Rebuilding them often just isn't in the best interest of the Administratum.

As a side note, it's the Adeptus Mechanicus that does the investigation into chapter gene-seed (the Tithes) on the order of the Administratum. samples are then kept by the Admech for reference purposes along with records of the chapters.

Lord Malorne
10-10-2008, 17:54
'You work for the bank, the bank works for me, ergo i'm your boss'-White Goodman...;)

Well at least when a chapter dies out we get a new shiny one...sable swords...

Crispian25
10-10-2008, 18:12
There are many patrols that go out without the skills of an apothecary. IIRC, a space marine only has 1 progenoid gland implanted (Implantation of THE progenoid gland) (unless this has changed or my memory is faulty), meaning that the space marine physiology creates a second one so that a dead marine leaves behind geneseed for two replacements.

Then again, my memory is a little hazy.

Lord Inquisitor
10-10-2008, 18:32
Several points:

While much is made of the idea that Marines have (one or both of) their gene-seed removed while still alive, this really isn't stated anywhere (AFAIK, please correct me if I'm wrong!) other than an oblique reference in Index Astartes, that doesn't state whether anyone actually does remove gene-seed prior to death (and there are a lot of sources that suggest that both are removed after death). I've not read the latest Marine codex fluff yet, so I don't know if that's been changed there.

In any case, each progenoid gland recovered contains two progenoid gene-seeds. These gene-seeds, once implanted, produce two mature progenoids each containing two further progenoid gene-seeds. So if a Chapter recovered 100% of gene-seed, then it would double number every "gene-seed generation". Obviously recovery isn't 100%!

The second point I wanted to make was that the gene-seed tithes taken are not used as reserves in case the Chapter screws up. They are used to make new Chapters. A Chapter takes its reserves of gene-seed very seriously. I've NEVER heard of a Chapter being provided with new gene-seed should it run low. A Chapter has to make do with what it has - the Crimson Fists nearly didn't make it, the Celestial Lions almost certainly didn't.

Lord Malorne
10-10-2008, 18:32
Read the second post ;).

GW have never said if after the chest progenoid is rempved another is grown, though I assume this is the 'main' progenoid and so will not regrow, as to the neck one, perhaps death is the only way to removes it as it may cause death to remove it otherwise.

Lord Inquisitor
10-10-2008, 18:37
Incidentally, this "cloning" process mentioned in post #2 is nothing more than implanting the gene-seed into a host, recovering the two progenoid glands and implanting both into two new hosts. It is exactly the same process as that practiced by the Space Marine chapters, the only difference is that the vat-grown hosts do nothing but "incubate" the gene-seed which are removed as soon as they mature.