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Ertle
26-08-2009, 18:42
Now I remember hearing on here I think that Marine Chapters have human Serfs to provide menial support staff on there Chapter's home homeworld. Now if the Chapter's Fortress Monastery would be besieged would the Serfs fight alongside the marines or no? And to what extent?

Lothlanathorian
26-08-2009, 18:52
I would expect that they would. Why wouldn't they? If your home were besieged, would you fight or would you just sit at home?

As to what extent, it depends, I guess. How skilled are they, what kind of weapons do they have?

Are they recruits who didn't make it? Are they enhanced in any way at all, just normal humans?

Demon Druss
26-08-2009, 19:23
Depends on the chapter its recorded that Space Wolf Serfs who blew up tunnels and fought with weapons taken from the chapters various forges with some scouts and Bjorn Fell-hand who was a venerable Dreadnought at the time held the fang for 40 days and nights against Magnus the red and the thousand sons. Its happened quite a few times can't remember which one though. Most serfs are expected to fight and die in service of the chapter they serve when called on. Remember some serfs are failed Marine iniates and so ain't a pushover in a fight.

Mr_Rose
26-08-2009, 19:35
In the vast majority of chapters, the serfs are Recruits that made it through the elimination round but were found to be genetically incompatible with the progenoids etc. before or during implantation (probably before because finding out during would likely kill them) and thus never became Neophytes.

They will still be the best of the best of the best of their world's human warriors though and will already have been inducted into some of the chapter's mythos and received a bunch of hypno-training and weapons practice during the recruitment process.

Also note that being a "Chapter Serf" is an honour beyond what many imperial citizens could ever hope to achieve otherwise and that the Serfs are not mere menials in most chapters, but a vital part of the Marines' support system and trained and equipped as such.
There is a story of a Fenrisian Shield-Maiden who decided that she wanted to join the warriors of the gods and, since they apparently weren't picking girls up from battlefields, she determined that the best way to prove her worthiness was to climb the cliffs of Asaheim (about 3km vertical) and go knock on the Gate of the Fang, which she did. The Wolves were duly impressed of course, and saddened that she could not be inducted fully, so they let her swear the oaths and become a bondsman instead. 200 years later, she was one of the Space Wolves best fleet captains and had been honorarily inducted into several Packs.

Arkondak
26-08-2009, 19:35
from Battlefleet Gothic Armada

"These serfs come from the chapter's home planet or the enclave they protect, many of them are novitiates or applicants who have failed in the recruiting or training process. These serfs are fanatically loyal to their superhuman masters and indoctrinated into many of the lesser orders of the chapter's cult. Although human, they still benefit from remarkable training and access to superior weaponry than is usually found on a naval vessel, making them a fearsome prospect in a boarding action - even without the support of their genetically modified lords."

so normal humans, failed marines, better guns than navy boarding crews, well trained.

my guess would be equal to guard maybe guard veterans.

Neverr3st
26-08-2009, 19:35
Most chapters also have there fair share of servitors and other humanoid beings cause some tasks or facts about a chapter are to important to let outsiders know, they are outfitted with all kinds of weapons like heavy bolters and stuff
Dark angels for example dont really like human beings walk around their Rock

VenrableOne
26-08-2009, 20:57
If the chapter had serfs trained as a fighting force I see them like Veterans or Stormtroopers. How they are equipped is dependent on the chapter. I see the Ultras having storm troopers and the Wolves with vets while some chapters may even have the equivalent to skittarii such as the Iron Hands.

Writerski7
26-08-2009, 21:34
Wouldn't they just be the equivilant of an IG army?

Lothlanathorian
26-08-2009, 21:42
Wouldn't they just be the equivilant of an IG army?

Of Veterans and Stormtroopers, yes.

Kyrios
26-08-2009, 21:43
Sadly the d6/1-10 based system of 40k can't handle something thats better than Guard but worse than Scouts. Would be an interesting Inquisitor character though.

Does anyone know if they act without SM superviosion at times? I.e. being sent on un-critical missions, guarding depots etc.

Lothlanathorian
26-08-2009, 21:44
Using Scouts to represent them in-game, however, would work out alright.

starlight
26-08-2009, 21:58
Wouldn't they just be the equivilant of an IG army?


Of Veterans and Stormtroopers, yes.

Pretty much, although it would vary by Chapter/Legion...


Sadly the d6/1-10 based system of 40k can't handle something thats better than Guard but worse than Scouts. Would be an interesting Inquisitor character though.

Does anyone know if they act without SM superviosion at times? I.e. being sent on un-critical missions, guarding depots etc.

True, and again it would depend on *whose* serfs they were... :)


Using Scouts to represent them in-game, however, would work out alright.

Using a pure C:SM list sure, but pulling in some DH/WH *Allies* ;) would give you more diversity and better represent more human serfs... :)

Gdolkin
27-08-2009, 00:12
There is a story of a Fenrisian Shield-Maiden who decided that she wanted to join the warriors of the gods and, since they apparently weren't picking girls up from battlefields, she determined that the best way to prove her worthiness was to climb the cliffs of Asaheim (about 3km vertical) and go knock on the Gate of the Fang, which she did. The Wolves were duly impressed of course, and saddened that she could not be inducted fully, so they let her swear the oaths and become a bondsman instead. 200 years later, she was one of the Space Wolves best fleet captains and had been honorarily inducted into several Packs.
Aww, that's nice :) Where is that written?

Condottiere
27-08-2009, 04:05
Surprised they didn't give her the title Chief Wench.

Clockwork-Knight
27-08-2009, 04:46
Don't some chapters allow their serfs to have family and procreate? I think the Space Wolves were such a chapter.
Doing this gives you the advantage of having potential recruits at hand, and having families utterly loyal to the chapter. But perhaps I'm imagining this piece of background lore.

Demon Druss
27-08-2009, 05:34
A few chapters have loyal families of serfs like the Imperial fists who need them to maintain and protect the vast IF fleet and its many recruiting outposts when the Marines are else where. Strangely the Black Templars just leave a few servitors to gaurd thier outposts but I guess no BT wants to be left out of a damn good crusade!

Lothlanathorian
27-08-2009, 09:45
Using a pure C:SM list sure, but pulling in some DH/WH *Allies* ;) would give you more diversity and better represent more human serfs... :)

Good sir, you are a genius.

nuclearfeet
27-08-2009, 10:08
It all depends on the chapter. The Grey Knights, for instance, their serfs are mind-wiped during indoctrination and between missions. They are also forbidden from combat, and have built in kill switches that are essentially a small explosive device in their brain that will detonate at the whim of their masters.

From other sources, they are essentially servitors without any of the mechanics. In the Soul Drinkers Omnibus, there is even a reference to space marines eating the serfs if food supplies on a ship were to run out.

Dhazzakull
27-08-2009, 18:34
Like in every post before it depends on the chapter, the more human chapters will have loyal servants who are well armed and fight to the death for their masters, while a few of the more radical chapters only have slave workers or even only servitors.

starlight
27-08-2009, 18:43
Heck Salamanders live amongst the population of Nocturne when they're not off making war... No doubt alliances and such are formed with the various populations...

Ertle
28-08-2009, 00:09
Thanks for the info everybody. I was going to start a Guard army and for the background They would be mobile serfs to a lesser chapter fleet based chapter. They would follow them around helping in protecting the ships provide auxiliary fighting forces for protecting flanks, and other less glorified duties like farming and stuff. But I liked the idea of using WH/Sisters allies to better represent the failed marines. Mind if I use it?

starlight
28-08-2009, 00:26
Mine, mine, mine! All mine! Copyrighted, trademarked, patented!



:p




Only if you make it look cool. :D

Pooky
28-08-2009, 04:58
Other than depending on the chapter, it would also depend on the type of serf. I believe that some serf are nothing more than just servitors who have very limited brain capacity other than just following orders. Others are basically humans with bionics.

Askil the Undecided
28-08-2009, 09:50
Guys, you have to remember these are the slaves of space marines.

You know arrogant, overly proud, fanatically zealous, space marines?

Serfs never fight unless the circumstances dictate they absolutely must fight, they never attack anything ever, they don't function as an army the example of the SW battle of the fang actually proves this rather than disproving it.

In short the in-game equivilent of a serf fighting force is having a group of unarmed menials who may at times of extreme necessity (read absolute destruction of the chapter, ship or outpost) pick up gun that is far, far too big and use it (ineptly) in a suicidal defense effort.

Argastes
28-08-2009, 10:24
Guys, you have to remember these are the slaves of space marines.

Serfs aren't slaves.


You know arrogant, overly proud, fanatically zealous, space marines?

I think you are attributing some traits to the Space Marines here that aren't entirely born out by the published background. "Arrogant and overly proud"?


Serfs never fight unless the circumstances dictate they absolutely must fight, they never attack anything ever, they don't function as an army the example of the SW battle of the fang actually proves this rather than disproving it.

In short the in-game equivilent of a serf fighting force is having a group of unarmed menials who may at times of extreme necessity (read absolute destruction of the chapter, ship or outpost) pick up gun that is far, far too big and use it (ineptly) in a suicidal defense effort.

People in this thread have already posted examples of GW-published fluff which disproves what you are trying to claim here. From BFG Armada, posted earlier in this thread:

"These serfs are fanatically loyal to their superhuman masters and indoctrinated into many of the lesser orders of the chapter's cult. Although human, they still benefit from remarkable training and access to superior weaponry than is usually found on a naval vessel, making them a fearsome prospect in a boarding action - even without the support of their genetically modified lords."

I do agree that serfs wouldn't usually fight except in a desperate defensive situation, and it would be a mistake to view them as combat auxiliaries to the SMs. There certainly wouldn't be forces of serfs, or mixed Marine/serf forces, running around on campaign. But the fluff clearly states that when they do have to fight, the serfs are pretty tough bastards, not inept suicide troops. And based on that fluff, it would also certainly be reasonable to assume that they have access to appropriately-sized weapons when needed, rather than being forced to use an SM-sized bolter or whatever.

Sai-Lauren
28-08-2009, 11:06
In the vast majority of chapters, the serfs are Recruits that made it through the elimination round but were found to be genetically incompatible with the progenoids etc. before or during implantation (probably before because finding out during would likely kill them) and thus never became Neophytes.

I'd say no, the vast majority of the serfs are the descendants of those who served the very first marines of the chapter - be they originally the servants of a Primarchs court or Warrior brotherhood that eventually became a Legion, or a later founding.

The proespective recruits who didn't make are more likely to be somewhere in the command structure of the household guard (being pretty decent warriors to attract the marines attention in the first place), unless they've got any particular skills or talents, in which case they might be passed to one of the specialisations (the Forge, the Apothecarion, maybe even the Librarium if they're psychic and can control it).



Of Veterans and Stormtroopers, yes.

Yes and no. Psychologically speaking, yes, they're probably going to be pretty close to fanatical, and very well disciplined. But in terms of training, probably not, most of the training that will be done in the chapter will be focused on the marines themselves and not the household guard. They're probably not going to get that much experience either, which would limit their effectiveness.

Maybe on a par with Cadians in terms of training.



Serfs aren't slaves.

Well, they're not exactly employees, are they? ;)

But the main reason that they wouldn't fight is that it would give a Marine commander far too much military power - hence my term of household guard.

As a defence force for the chapter's holdings, that's borderline, but ok. The moment they go off world as an army, that's more than would be tolerated - remember, they would be outside the reach of the Commissarat and the Administratum.

At best, you might get a company or two as auxilliaries, taken along to get combat experience and assigned a long way away from their chapter, but no more.

Askil the Undecided
28-08-2009, 11:17
Argastes here is the etymology of the word serf.


The word "serf" originated from the Middle French "serf", and can be traced further back to the Latin servus, meaning "slave".

Admittedly there where higher orders of serfdom than slavery by all of them are essentially people who are beholden to their lords for their livelihoods.

As for my previous post I was simply pointing out that Serfs are not arrayed in armies, they aren't as good as scouts, they aren't generally issued weapons and they don't fight in wars unless the place they serve the chapter is being attacked. They do however serve as crew on SM ships and all that entails (defending the ship and fighting bording action when necessary.)

Also considering the vast history of the chapters the majority of serfs wouldn't be failed aspirants they would be the children of the children of the children etc... of failed aspirants, they aren't unmodifed scouts they are the kids or grandkids etc... of an unmodifed aspirant and as such a vast chunk of them would suck at fighting.

SM do not ask for help from servants on the battlefield for they have their pride. They are the angels of death, the chosen of the emperor, the children of the Primachs, they are the Adeptus Astartes and death walks in their shadow.

Do they sound like the sort of folks who ask their weak human butler to help them in battle?

Condottiere
28-08-2009, 14:39
The terms serf might be misleading - perhaps bondsman, wholly voluntary on the human side, might be more appropriate.

This would mean they can't quit when then feel like it, and in fact, may have even committed themselves to service for the duration.

Serf would indicate a class obligation to service.

PondaNagura
28-08-2009, 14:46
they exist to let marine chapters remain as autonomous as they are.
serfs are largely to fill up the roles of assisting in indoctrinated members of the chapter, like assisting marines in armoring, probably some manufacturing and maybe apothecary work.

if the chapter keeps their failed aspirants as serfs, then those might take up the role of leadership amongst the lower dregs who were not so graced with the chance to obtain immortality in service.

a larger chapter will have more serfs, and will probably be more distanced from the marines themselves. where as a smaller chapter will probably work more closely with them, as the chapter will need all the manpower it has working as close to perfection to ensure its survival.

these are my own conclusions, things only noted here and there from various sources, but nothing exactly canon

edit: and I agree they are more like bondsmen than full on slaves (unless they are mindwiped-lobotomized servitors...servitor, servus...slave)

starlight
28-08-2009, 14:50
Do they sound like the sort of folks who ask their weak human butler to help them in battle?

No, but they are the sort to throw the full weight of their forces into battle, secure in the knowledge that their vassals will defend the homesteads and supply lines...

pookie
28-08-2009, 14:55
i think it depends on the chapter. i like to think of them as Squires, but Squires who will never be as good as there Masters

term (mentioned above ) ive heard used and supported by fluff:

Bondsman - Flight of Einstein - Garro has a Bonds man thats looked down upon by the majority of the DG, everyone barr garro and a few others treat him as a Slave would have been treated ( i would think )

Argastes
28-08-2009, 15:08
Argastes here is the etymology of the word serf.

Nevertheless, serfs aren't slaves. Often words have meanings which are different from the meanings of their etymological root words. So, the word "serf" might come from the Latin for "slave", but nevertheless, serfs are not slaves.


Admittedly there where higher orders of serfdom than slavery by all of them are essentially people who are beholden to their lords for their livelihoods.

Right, but this description is so broad that it could cover everything from utter chattel slavery to free tenant farmers under some circumstances, along with all the various types of serfdom (villeinage, etc.) in between. That description could arguably even be said to cover knights in a medieval society. So that doesn't really say anything about the validity of describing chapter serfs as "slaves".


As for my previous post I was simply pointing out that Serfs are not arrayed in armies, they aren't as good as scouts, they aren't generally issued weapons and they don't fight in wars unless the place they serve the chapter is being attacked. They do however serve as crew on SM ships and all that entails (defending the ship and fighting bording action when necessary.)

Right, as I said in my previous post, I do agree that they aren't arrayed in armies, aren't as good as scouts, and don't fight except in desperate defensive situations. The fluff makes all that fairly clear.


Also considering the vast history of the chapters the majority of serfs wouldn't be failed aspirants they would be the children of the children of the children etc... of failed aspirants, they aren't unmodifed scouts they are the kids or grandkids etc... of an unmodifed aspirant and as such a vast chunk of them would suck at fighting.

Well, I don't know what to tell you... the previously-quoted GW fluff says that "many" serfs are failed initiates, and goes on to categorically state that the serfs--not "a minority" of the serfs, or "some" serfs, or even "many" serfs, but simply "the serfs"--have "remarkable training" as a result of this. If enough serfs are failed initiates for GW to categorically describe them as having some initiate-level training, then to me that implies that it's a majority, possibly a strong one. If you want to ignore this, that's fine, but I'm just telling you what GW's fluff says. You are of course free to make up whatever alternate fluff you want for your own consumption.


SM do not ask for help from servants on the battlefield for they have their pride. They are the angels of death, the chosen of the emperor, the children of the Primachs, they are the Adeptus Astartes and death walks in their shadow.

Do they sound like the sort of folks who ask their weak human butler to help them in battle?

Right, again, I already agreed that serfs wouldn't fight unless their chapter fortress, ship, etc. was being attacked and was in grave danger of being overrun. I'm not arguing otherwise. I certainly never said that they would come to their serfs and ask for help in battle under normal circumstances, so this is a bit of a strawman. That doesn't justify the claim that they are "arrogant and overly proud", though.

Sai-Lauren
28-08-2009, 15:40
Well, I don't know what to tell you... the previously-quoted GW fluff says that "many" serfs are failed initiates, and goes on to categorically state that the serfs--not "a minority" of the serfs, or "some" serfs, or even "many" serfs, but simply "the serfs"--have "remarkable training" as a result of this. If enough serfs are failed initiates for GW to categorically describe them as having some initiate-level training, then to me that implies that it's a majority, possibly a strong one. If you want to ignore this, that's fine, but I'm just telling you what GW's fluff says. You are of course free to make up whatever alternate fluff you want for your own consumption.

Well, Goblin maths is supposed to be 1, 2, some, many, lots. And GW do think that you can have a functional chapter with only 1000 marines, and virtually no command staff at company level. But even if a chapter recruits twice a year, and picks 1 aspirant out of 5 each time, they're still only adding 8 at most a year - and they'll do little more than replace those who've died of old age (say a century or so after they orginally entered the chapter) - wheras the chapter's household staff (ignoring those in the farms, mines etc that supply the chapter) is probably up at about 20,000 - most of whom are there to look after the rest of the household, very few will interact with the Marines themselves - with a household guard of roughly another 10,000 (equivalent to a guard line infantry regiment).



That doesn't justify the claim that they are "arrogant and overly proud", though.
Arrogant and overly proud, no.
Uncomprehending of the possibility of defeat, and indoctrinated to believe that they are superior to all others though... ;)

Argastes
28-08-2009, 15:48
Well, Goblin maths is supposed to be 1, 2, some, many, lots. And GW do think that you can have a functional chapter with only 1000 marines, and virtually no command staff at company level. But even if a chapter recruits twice a year, and picks 1 aspirant out of 5 each time, they're still only adding 8 at most a year - and they'll do little more than replace those who've died of old age (say a century or so after they orginally entered the chapter) - wheras the chapter's household staff (ignoring those in the farms, mines etc that supply the chapter) is probably up at about 20,000 - most of whom are there to look after the rest of the household, very few will interact with the Marines themselves - with a household guard of roughly another 10,000 (equivalent to a guard line infantry regiment).

But you've bogarted these numbers to fit your own argument, one could easily make an argument for lower numbers. Why do you say that the household staff is "probably" up at about 20,000? Is there anything backing that up, or is it just a number you made up off the top of your head? Why not, say, 5,000 instead? And where does this additional 10,000-strong "household guard" regiment come from? That's not really in the fluff either, you just pulled it out of thin air to beef up the number of serfs that you are trying to claim must exist.

The farms, mines, etc. that supply the chapter are probably worked by the population of the chapter's home planet (i.e. the home planet has a normal economy from which the Marines extract taxes in various materials), or maybe by servitors.

The fact that new serfs would do little more than replace those who died of old age doesn't tell us anything about how large the population of serfs really is. All it tells us is that the recruitment of new serfs wouldn't cause the serf population to grow over time (assuming it was carried out at roughly the same rate as the death rate among the serfs), but would only keep it at a constant level, which is all that needs to be done. After all the same is true of Marines and the fact that they are constantly dying in battle.


Arrogant and overly proud, no.
Uncomprehending of the possibility of defeat, and indoctrinated to believe that they are superior to all others though... ;)

"Uncomprehending of the possibility of defeat"? Where you guys GET this stuff? I miss the days when Marines were a little better characterized in the fluff and didn't get slapped with such absurd stereotypes....

Sai-Lauren
28-08-2009, 16:07
Where do my numbers come from? Well, they're not just pulled out of the air - here's an essay on what makes up a chapter...
====
Structure of a Marine Chapter - or is 1000 enough?

1000 marines in a chapter – it’s been in the fluff since the earliest days of Rogue Trader. But is that actually a realistic number?

This essay attempts to get behind the scenes of a marine chapter, and see what they would actually require.

Firstly, what do we mean by “a Marine”? The definition seems to be anyone who’s undergone the surgery and various other procedures that are required to turn a normal human into a marine – effectively Homo Sapiens Astartes if you like – no matter what role they have.

So, let’s start at the top – the Chapter Command staff. Here we have the Chapter Master himself, plus the Master of the Apothecarion, Chief Librarian, Master of the Forges, Chapter Chaplain and Master of the Fleet. I also believe that there would be a senior marine in charge of the Chapters armoured vehicles (IMO, Fleet and Armour are effectively the 11th and 12th companies of the chapter), outside of both the company command structure and the Techmarines, so he needs to be accounted for – let’s call him the Master of Steel for now.
Running Total: 6

The Chapter Master also usually has an honour guard, who seem to be outside the normal company structure, and now is also a good time to add in the chapters Dreadnoughts, who seem to be effectively at Chapter asset level and assigned out as required. Let’s say 5 honour guard and 5 dreadnoughts (still marines, still count, but frankly, as we shall see, even if they didn’t it probably wouldn’t make much difference).
Running total: 16

Each of the departments also have specialist marines as part of their staff – say an average of five techmarines, two apothecaries, three chaplains and one librarian per company – or 50, 20, 30 and 10, for another 110 marines.
Running total: 126

The fleet assets – let’s assume they’re a moderately well provisioned chapter, with a single Battle Barge, 8 Strike Cruisers, and 20 escort class vessels. Each vessel has a Marine commander, gunnery officer and an average of 5 other marines in various roles assigned to them from the chapter’s strength, with specialists being assigned from the departments (hence the seemingly large numbers previously), with the Battle Barge having an extra 10 marines. That gives us 29 commanders, 29 gunnery officers, and 150 other marines, for a grand total of 208.
Running total: 334

We also need to account for the Thunderhawk crews – two per Thunderhawk/Transporter. Assuming that each vessel can drop all it’s marines in one go through Thunderhawks, we need at least 5 Transporters (presuming they deploy them in 2 Rhinos each), and by the time you add in armour and Land Raiders, you’re probably looking at 10 sets of crew per company each vessel can carry (say ˝ company on an escort, 1 on a Strike Cruiser and 3 on the Battle Barge), most likely permanently assigned, rather than rotating on and off vessel with the Marines, for 210 aircrew.
Running Total: 544

The chapters armoured vehicles next. Now, in this case, I think we can make some personnel savings here, IMO, marine chapters are materiel rich, but manpower poor, so we can say that the chapter has a considerable number of vehicles available to them, but only enough crews to actually run a proportion of them at any one time.

Even so, I would anticipate at least 30 drivers and 100 gunners/vehicle crewmen. And this isn’t including all of the Rhino drivers, who would be attached at company level.
Running Total: 674

Company Command: Even assuming there is only the Captain and his bodyguard that are organic to the company, and the Chapter Master is effectively the company commander for the first company, we still need another 9 officers and 45 bodyguards (averaging 5 per company from 2nd to 10th), adding another 54 to the total.
Plus the chapters own transport pool, even assuming Rhinos, we need a minimum of one driver per squad in the company, so another 80 for 2nd to 9th.
Running Total: 808

And finally, the recruits, or rather, those who train them. IMO, most of their tutors will be marines who’ve been badly injured in battle, rendering them non-combatant, but not sufficiently so that they need to be placed in a dreadnought, but, like Dreadnought pilots, they’re still Marines, and would still count against the limit on numbers (and again, by now, it doesn’t really matter whether they do or not). Say another 15.
Running Total: 823

Now, I can hear some people disagreeing with my figures, for instance, saying that the transport pool drivers, armoured vehicle crews and dropship pilots come from the reserve companies. However, this is taking about two companies worth of marines from the field, and turning them into taxi drivers. And it still doesn’t subtract from the total – over four-fifths of the chapter’s listed maximum strength is engaged on other duties, the Thunderhawks would be flying CAS missions, or be on standby for retrieval, for example.

Clearly something’s very, very wrong here, so let’s ask the first question again – what do we mean by “a Marine”?
If we say that a Marine is any person who fits the description of Homo Sapiens Astartes, and serves in one of the company squads (effectively anyone with the rank of Scout, Marine or Sergeant), then, with a minor feat of liquistics, we walk around the issue completely - we have 1000 marines in 10 companies of 10 squad of 10 marines (or 20 of 5 in the 1st and 10th), and all the specialists, drivers, fleet crews and officers sit outside that - the chapter itself consists of about 2000 combat ready men with Astartes enhancements.

Ah, you say, but that wouldn’t be allowed, the Inquisition would split them up as being too dangerous. Well, I’ve got two words for you – Adepta Sororitas.
In possibly the biggest piece of linquistic skulduggery ever, the no “Men under arms” limitation on the Ecclesiarchy is got around by making sure that the regular military units are women, and the men are officially non-combatant (“of course I’m a priest, I just happen to have body armour, weapons and a massive great chainsaw in my luggage”) or just tagging along as “temporary” volunteer militia.

This also allows us to expand the chapters command structure – the company command for example is extremely flat, and would be seriously affected if multiple simultaneous combat actions were required – veteran sergeants may be able to lead, but wouldn’t have the strategic or tactical training, or the comms uplinks in their armour, that an officer would get by default.

So, I believe that the Company command also has a couple of lieutenants (originally in the RT era list, and still technically possible in the current army list) who command small actions, or can take control of the company in case of injury to the captain.

They themselves would be unlikely to have a bodyguard, most of the time they would associate with one of the squads in the company, assault squads in particular would be popular – both to put another experienced fighter at the point of assault, and to lead by example.

And to those saying that’s not listed in the Chapter structure, I say no they’re not, but there’s a lot of stuff that isn’t listed in the structure that also has to be there, and had the structure been thought through properly rather than just plucking a number out of the air (a number based on the roman legions, although Centuries were actually only about 80 men strong and a cohort was 10 or 6 centuries, depending on it’s position within a legion) and then adding stuff into it to take more and more of that number into support roles, then maybe they would have been.

One of those things that need accounting for is the non-combatant side of the chapter - the household staff.

Firstly, there is the Master or Mistress of the Household (I believe Marines to be essentially equal-opportunities employers, mainly because this is likely to be a hereditary position passed along a family line and so long as they can do the job, they won’t care what gender they are), who reports into the Chapter Master, but who had effective control over the chapter’s household – if there is a dispute between a marine and the household, they would primarily be responsible for it, and only the Chapter Master himself could overrule.

Underneath them, we need the cooks, cleaners, maintenance people and so on, that make the chapter function. My best guess would be something like 20 cooks per company, plus a head cook and their juniors cooking for the chapter command structure (most of these will be responsible for cooking for the non-marine members of the chapter, and some will be producing supplies for the chapter’s fleet assets – I figure maybe 3 cooks per company actually cook for the marines themselves - but they are all still there to serve the marines, so allocating them by company is probably the best way to do it).

For cleaners and maintenance, at least one per two marines, although again, most of them will be in the non-marine parts of the fortess-monastary.

Also, there will be smiths in the Chapters Forges. The Techmarines will mainly be responsible for running the Forges and maintaining and manufacturing the higher tech items, but there’s still all the lower tech items that need manufacturing, munitions, combat blades etc, although the real repetitive mass manufacturing work will almost certainly be done by servitors, and some smiths may even be considered good enough to manufacture things like Bolt Pistols.

There would also be a virtual swarm of clerks and administrators throughout the chapter, be they quartermasters for the marines, supply clerks, scribes for the various departments and companies, aides for the officers and squads and so on.

And then we get to the household guard – the marines themselves couldn’t defend their own holdings, especially when significant numbers may be out on campaign, best guess would be the equivalent of a guard line infantry regiment (approx. 8,000, plus their own field support personnel), possibly led by some of the marines who have been invalided out of combat, and now make up the cadet training cadre, whilst the commander would report into the Chapter Master, and would likely also be a “medically retired” Marine officer, and the Chapter’s Navigators – say four as an absolute minimum – plus their own household staff, body guards etc, giving maybe another 100-200 people.

Finally, the farmers, miners, drovers, drivers, pilots and so on, those who live outside the chapter’s fortress-monastary, but supply it with food, ores and minerals, power and other consumables – we’re probably talking 10s of thousands of people across the chapter’s home system, and maybe even beyond it.

1000 Marines? Maybe, but behind them, there’s another 1000 marine officers and support crew, about 10,000 househould guard, 20,000 civilians in the fortess-monastary and 50-100,000 outside.

Argastes
28-08-2009, 16:48
Uh, that's a neat essay, but you still didn't explain where the 20,000 serfs figure comes from. You cite 20 cooks per company plus some cooks for the chapter command staff, 50 cleaning/maintenance personnel per company (1 per 2 marines), an indeterminate number of smiths in the chapter forges, and a "virtual swarm" (i.e. another indeterminate number) of clerks, administrative personnel, and so forth. Which is all great and I don't have a problem with it, but you then seem to conclude that this indeterminate listing of personnel supports your 20,000 figure, which it absolutely does not. So yes, as far as I can, your 20,000 figure is still pulled out of thin air. The numbers you have given definitely do not add up to 20,000. We don't know what they would add up to, since you have left many numbers indeterminate and instead used vague language like "a virtual swarm". Well, how many is a "virtual swarm"? Using the explanation of chapter manpower laid out in your essay, the chapter's serf population could add up to as few as several thousand.


And then we get to the household guard – the marines themselves couldn’t defend their own holdings, especially when significant numbers may be out on campaign, best guess would be the equivalent of a guard line infantry regiment (approx. 8,000, plus their own field support personnel)

Well yes, of course the chapter needs troops to defend it's homeworld while it's on campaign, but where are you getting the idea that these troops are part of the chapter's population of serfs? We know from the background that at least some Marine homeworlds do indeed have such forces (e.g. Macragge Defense Auxilia), but that they are not composed of chapter serfs. So I'm not sure why you are using these forces to try and argue for a larger number of chapter serfs.


Finally, the farmers, miners, drovers, drivers, pilots and so on, those who live outside the chapter’s fortress-monastary, but supply it with food, ores and minerals, power and other consumables – we’re probably talking 10s of thousands of people across the chapter’s home system, and maybe even beyond it.

Again, these people certainly exist but that doesn't mean they are "chapter serfs". We know that Marine chapters draw resources from the economies of their homeworlds, that doesn't mean that every person involved in the provision of those resources is a chapter serf. They are ordinary people living on a planet where a certain percentage of their economic produce goes to the chapter whose homeworld it is.


1000 Marines? Maybe, but behind them, there’s another 1000 marine officers and support crew, about 10,000 househould guard, 20,000 civilians in the fortess-monastary and 50-100,000 outside.

The "household guard" (actually a form of PDF if the MDA are any example) are not chapter serfs; you still have not convincingly explained that the household staff would number as high as 20,000; and the 50K-100K people providing the chapter with resources are not chapter serfs either.

EDIT: Just to clarify my take on the issue, I think that a Marine chapter and it's supporting body of personnel would look like this: Firstly you have the chapter itself, 1000-2000 Marines (I have no problem with your analysis about how vehicle crews, aircrews, etc. would push the number to well over the official 1000). Then you have the chapter serfs, comprised largely of failed initiates, who number several thousand and basically serve as squires and household staff in the fortress monastery. Then you have the homeworld's PDF formation, which is composed of ordinary human troops drawn from the homeworld's population, and might vary widely in size depending on how large that population is. Then you have the general population of the Marine's homeworld, whose economic activity provides the material resources that support the chapter. Obviously this adds up to a lot of people, but it would be a mistake to think of all of them as "chapter serfs". Most of them aren't chapter serfs, but rather ordinary people.

EDIT: Again, if a chapter's population of serfs was so large that only a small fraction of them were failed initiates, the GW's fluff probably wouldn't say that "many" serfs are failed initiates and that serfs in general have "remarkable" combat training. To me that makes it clear that a good portion of them are failed initiates, thus there must not be 50,000+ serfs per chapter or what-have-you.

starlight
28-08-2009, 16:58
Since both of you are determined to argue, yet neither of you are speaking the same language, let's agree to disagree and move on... :eyebrows:

Argastes
28-08-2009, 17:00
Isn't this forum for discussion of background issues? What's wrong with having a back-and-forth about how many serfs a chapter might have? I think we are keeping it pretty civil.

starlight
28-08-2009, 17:23
Not seeing much of the back and forth, more of the restating positions...

First you both need to define what *serf* means so you can work from a common starting point...until then you're both speaking at cross purposes... :(

Good article, by the way. Haven't seen it in some time, but it does a good job of showing just how powerful a Marine Chapter can be...even without commanding anything like the Ultramarine Empire... :angel:

Askil the Undecided
28-08-2009, 23:51
In the ongoing manpower debate you are aware that only five companies of a Codex chapter actually fight as Companies right? 6-9th companies are reserves and specialists 10th is made up of all the chapter's scouts who work as detatchments to the other companies (at least that was how it was stated in 2nd ed Ultramarines.) So you see there are plenty of marines to do things like man outposts/ships and recruit noobs and suchlike.

Sai-Lauren
01-09-2009, 12:05
Uh, that's a neat essay, but you still didn't explain where the 20,000 serfs figure comes from. You cite 20 cooks per company plus some cooks for the chapter command staff, 50 cleaning/maintenance personnel per company (1 per 2 marines), an indeterminate number of smiths in the chapter forges, and a "virtual swarm" (i.e. another indeterminate number) of clerks, administrative personnel, and so forth. Which is all great and I don't have a problem with it, but you then seem to conclude that this indeterminate listing of personnel supports your 20,000 figure, which it absolutely does not. So yes, as far as I can, your 20,000 figure is still pulled out of thin air. The numbers you have given definitely do not add up to 20,000. We don't know what they would add up to, since you have left many numbers indeterminate and instead used vague language like "a virtual swarm". Well, how many is a "virtual swarm"? Using the explanation of chapter manpower laid out in your essay, the chapter's serf population could add up to as few as several thousand.

Ok, Add this lot in then :)

Company clerks - Per company (including fleet and armour, so 12 not 10) - 1 historian, 1 company clerk (liases with the company commander), 3 quartermasters (mainly dealing with ammunition during training excercises), 5 clerks (1 per 2 squads) - 120

Apothecarion - for each marine in the Apothecarion (20), 3 nurses, 5 orderlies, 2 clerks (basically bandage counters) to support the marines, plus a pharmacist, 2 bio-chemists, 10 doctors, 3 surgeons, 40 orderlies, 100 nurses and 30 clerks to care for the household staff - 396 (516)

Librarium - Kind of what feels right here, 2 historians and 3 archivists per librarian - 50.

Chaplaincy - One clerk per 2 chaplains, plus a choir of 30 - 45. (561)

The Forge - I would say that 1 person can make enough normal munitions in one day to maintain what 2 marines expend in training, plus enough to go into stores for use in combat, whilst for heavy/support weapons, 1 person per marine (IMO, servitors will do the bulk manufacturing work, whilst the smiths will do the more fiddly work like inserting fuses, plus they'll want someone to intone the correct prayers as they go). Presuming 800 marines practise with sidearms and melee weapons and 200 with heavy/support weapons/vehicle weapons - 600. (1161)
Weapon and Armour Maintenance - 2 per squad for 2nd to 9th, 1 per squad for 10th, 1 per 2 TDA suits for the 1st - 220. (1381)

Plus, the Household Guard and the Fortress monastaries defences - they would get their munitions and weapons from the forge as well, so they need to be accounted for, although only at 2 smiths per 10 - 4000 (5381)

And finally the Fleet Armourers - 50 per escort, 150 per strike cruiser, 300 for the Battle Barge (some on the orbital shipyards constructing torpedoes etc, most on the planet making gun battery shells etc). 2500 (7881)

And supply clerks and Administrators - 1 per 5 - 1344 (9225)

Transport Pool and Armoured Company - 1 per vehicle in the chapter.
100 Rhinos
20 Predators
20 Whirlwinds
15 Vindicators
5 Damocles
15 Land Raiders (different variants)
30 Land Speeders
+ 3 per Dreadnought

Again, 1 supply clerk/Administrator per 5 - 220 + 44 (9489)

Dockyard support - I'd put this at 2000 dockyard workers for ship construction and repairs, maintenance of the shipyards and so on, plus 1 clerk per 10 workers - 2200 (11689)

Flight control - 1 senior controller, 5 orbital controllers, 20 sub-orbital controllers (11715)

Warehousemen/Stevedores - 3 senior warehousemen, 40 crew gangs (1 overseer and 4 workers) to unload supply transports (working 2 shifts, 20 on duty at any time) and a clerk for each gang - 247 (11962)

Quartermasters - 3 per company dealing with weapons and munitions, 1 per company dealing with armour, 2 per company dealing with miscellaneous items (blankets for their cells, clothing etc), plus one clerk per QM to account for it all - 120 (12082)

Power supply - whether it's solar, geothermal, fission, fusion or hamsters on treadmills, they have to supply power to the fortress-monastary, and whilst this would likely fall under the auspices of the Master of the Forge, it would have it's own dedicated staff - best guess would be 1000 workers, some in the actual generation areas, others spread around making sure that the power goes where it's supposed to and balancing load. (13082)

Administration - These are the people that have to pull all the documentation together from all the other departments, collate it and account for expenditure, then procure more supplies based on planned actions over the next few years.

Departmental liason - one per four clerks in other departments, let's call that 500 as a round figure. (13582)
Accountants - whilst we're not normally talking about money, we can still say people have to monitor consumption of food, fuel, ores, chemicals, medicines. I'm going with 1000. (14582)
Procurement - 400 - it's a lot easier to order stuff than track it. (14982)
Planning - one of the smaller departments, I'd say about 40. (15022)

Servitor maintenance - there'll be a lot of servitors, mostly in the forges, the warehouses, and the shipyards, plus the combat training servitors - if we say 10,000 servitors, and one person is capable of maintaining 10 - another 1000 people (16022).

Ambassadorial staff - chapters occasionally get visits from Imperial diplomats, Inquisitors and so on, so they'd need butlers, stewards etc who are capable of dealing with them appropriately. Maybe another 100 or so (16122).

I'm sure we can think of more (and probably trim some from the list), but hopefully 20,000 is sounding a lot more plausible

Remember that The Fang is basically a hive and starships dock at it's upper reaches (which therefore has to be at least at geostationary orbit altitude) - and I can't believe that it's unique for a chapter to have something that big (although most probably aren't as high).

20,000 people may well be far too few to keep something like that running, maybe rather than one maintenance person per 2 marines, it's more like 10 per Marine just to keep the place from falling apart.

After all, it's only 20 people per marine in what GW thinks is a chapter, and 10 per for what I think it is. ;)

Of course, a fleet based chapter would have a lot less, the crew of the ships would take on a lot of the roles I've covered.



Well yes, of course the chapter needs troops to defend it's homeworld while it's on campaign, but where are you getting the idea that these troops are part of the chapter's population of serfs? We know from the background that at least some Marine homeworlds do indeed have such forces (e.g. Macragge Defense Auxilia), but that they are not composed of chapter serfs. So I'm not sure why you are using these forces to try and argue for a larger number of chapter serfs.

If you notice my figures, I've got the household guard outside of the household staff - but they would still count as chapter serfs - people who are bonded to the chapter, and all their life is spent working for that chapter (I guess we're onto defining what a Serf actually is).
As to the last question - because someone has to cook, clean and otherwise support them, and those people will be additional to those who support the marines?



Again, these people certainly exist but that doesn't mean they are "chapter serfs". We know that Marine chapters draw resources from the economies of their homeworlds, that doesn't mean that every person involved in the provision of those resources is a chapter serf. They are ordinary people living on a planet where a certain percentage of their economic produce goes to the chapter whose homeworld it is.

I'd say yes and no - whilst the populace would almost certainly give something to the Marines, the chapter would almost certainly have their own holdings, farms etc to ensure that they get what they need, especially with the more exotic items (chemicals for explosives, fuel, rare ores etc).



The "household guard" (actually a form of PDF if the MDA are any example) are not chapter serfs; you still have not convincingly explained that the household staff would number as high as 20,000; and the 50K-100K people providing the chapter with resources are not chapter serfs either.

Agree with the first point, but the majority of the household staff is doing things that support the rest of the household staff, not directly supporting the marines. Very few will actually interact with them on a face to face basis, and most of those will be in places like the Forge and Apothecarion.

And if the people outside the chapter but working solely for them in the fields, mines etc aren't serfs, then what do you suggest they are?



In the ongoing manpower debate you are aware that only five companies of a Codex chapter actually fight as Companies right? 6-9th companies are reserves and specialists 10th is made up of all the chapter's scouts who work as detatchments to the other companies (at least that was how it was stated in 2nd ed Ultramarines.) So you see there are plenty of marines to do things like man outposts/ships and recruit noobs and suchlike.

Except for the instances where the entire company is fielded, like on Armageddon, or during the Black Crusade.

And I've never really liked that "reserve companies" bit, it's limiting the available numbers of an already limited number of troops.
IMO, about half the chapter is on their regular patrol routes, protecting the territory they've been charged with, whilst the other half is split between being back at the chapter's home and in the field on active duty.

Burnthem
01-09-2009, 12:40
Umm, not really Askill, reserves are reserved for a reason, you can't be free to fill casualties places if your too busy flying your ship or are on a planet light years away training 'noobs' as you put it. And the Scouts will be doing thier jobs as scouts.

Sai Lauren - excellent essay, it really highlights the conspicious lack of knowledge in both GW and many gamers of military formations and manpower requirements.

starlight
01-09-2009, 14:35
In the ongoing manpower debate you are aware that only five companies of a Codex chapter actually fight as Companies right? 6-9th companies are reserves and specialists 10th is made up of all the chapter's scouts who work as detatchments to the other companies (at least that was how it was stated in 2nd ed Ultramarines.) So you see there are plenty of marines to do things like man outposts/ships and recruit noobs and suchlike.


Nope, sorry. :(

The so-called *Reserve* Companies are often thrown into battle, besides which they are either training in their respective roles so they are ready when they are *called up*, or they are on garrison/pacification duty (ie recovering battle losses) in recently conquered areas so the Battle Companies can move on.

Sai-Lauren
01-09-2009, 15:20
Sai Lauren - excellent essay, it really highlights the conspicious lack of knowledge in both GW and many gamers of military formations and manpower requirements.

Thank you, although I'd put it less as a lack of knowledge and more of a lack of consideration, time and in some instances requirement (if they never do a chapter household guard army list, why bother working out how many there'll be? Just say counts as guard and assume there's more than anyone could ever build and paint in their lifetime) - I am in no way pretending to be an expert on logistics, especially military ones, I just sat down, and started producing a list of what they would need, assuming various scenarios (full chapter mobilisation, battlegroup sent on a specific campaign, full or partial company embarked on a couple of escorts or a strike cruiser on regular patrol encountering something), then started putting some guesswork/feels right numbers to it :).

That's why a lot of the numbers are x per whatever.

Argastes
01-09-2009, 16:40
I appreciate the specificity, but now that you have actually explained your 20,000 figure, I still think it's too high. I think you are severely padding these estimates with unnecessary personnel. Let's take a look:


Company clerks - Per company (including fleet and armour, so 12 not 10) - 1 historian, 1 company clerk (liases with the company commander), 3 quartermasters (mainly dealing with ammunition during training excercises), 5 clerks (1 per 2 squads) - 120

Does each company need it's own historian when we have the Librarium (which I think you have overstaffed in it's own right, more on that below)? Does each company need THREE quartermasters? Modern infantry companies have one. I would also think that job would be given to a Marine of sergeant or veteran-sergeant rank, not a serf (so each company's quartermaster would be part of it's headquarters section along with the lieutenants).


Apothecarion - for each marine in the Apothecarion (20), 3 nurses, 5 orderlies, 2 clerks (basically bandage counters) to support the marines, plus a pharmacist, 2 bio-chemists, 10 doctors, 3 surgeons, 40 orderlies, 100 nurses and 30 clerks to care for the household staff - 396 (516)

I raise my eyebrow at the nurses and orderlies, at least at 8 per Apothecary. I seem to recall mention that the Marine apothecaries use medical servitors of some sort. These might handle a lot of this work and wouldn't be counted toward's the chapters serf population. I don't disagree with the idea of a separate medical staff for the serf population, though. Would you also need 40 clerks to support the administrative end of the activities of 20 Apothecaries? Seems dubious.


Librarium - Kind of what feels right here, 2 historians and 3 archivists per librarian - 50.

Aren't the Librarians themselves supposed to fulfill the roles of historian and archivist? I would say maybe two scribes per Librarian.


Chaplaincy - One clerk per 2 chaplains, plus a choir of 30 - 45. (561)

No problem here, really.


The Forge - I would say that 1 person can make enough normal munitions in one day to maintain what 2 marines expend in training, plus enough to go into stores for use in combat, whilst for heavy/support weapons, 1 person per marine (IMO, servitors will do the bulk manufacturing work, whilst the smiths will do the more fiddly work like inserting fuses, plus they'll want someone to intone the correct prayers as they go). Presuming 800 marines practise with sidearms and melee weapons and 200 with heavy/support weapons/vehicle weapons - 600. (1161)

If servitors are doing the manufacturing work, why do every 2 Marines need someone making their munitions? The servitors make the munitions under Techmarine supervision. You wouldn't need 1 man per 1 or 2 marines even assuming they have to do the fiddly stuff like inserting fuses. I would say that a more realistic figure is maybe 200 or so serfs in the Forge, in addition to the Techmarines and servitors.


Weapon and Armour Maintenance - 2 per squad for 2nd to 9th, 1 per squad for 10th, 1 per 2 TDA suits for the 1st - 220. (1381)

Seems excessive, certainly far more than what modern infantry requires. Obviously the Marines have their power armor to worry about, which modern soldiers don't, but at the same time I always thought it's been made fairly clear that performing maintenance and repairs on power armor is part of the Techmarine's job. When it comes to small-ticket maintenance tasks, there's no reason such things couldn't be a part of the line Marines' training.


Plus, the Household Guard and the Fortress monastaries defences - they would get their munitions and weapons from the forge as well, so they need to be accounted for, although only at 2 smiths per 10 - 4000 (5381)

I have to repeat that I have never seen any fluff evidence for the existence of this regimental-strength "household guard" force, and as far as I can tell, you have made it up on your own. I think that if you want to include this force (and their thousands of smiths), you need to establish that it exists in the first place. I would say that the crews for the fortress monastery defenses might be several hundred to a few thousand, and thus, if we accept your 1 smith per 5 figure, we'd be looking at maybe 100 to 500 additional smiths to manufacture their weapons. And even that assumes that all these serf-smiths are needed for munitions manufacturing, when in fact, as I said above, I would think the servitors do more of it than you seem to assume.


And finally the Fleet Armourers - 50 per escort, 150 per strike cruiser, 300 for the Battle Barge (some on the orbital shipyards constructing torpedoes etc, most on the planet making gun battery shells etc). 2500 (7881)

Again, seems like a lot of the manufacturing of naval munitions, shells and torpedoes, would be performed by servitors rather than these serf-smiths.


And supply clerks and Administrators - 1 per 5 - 1344 (9225)

Most of the guys that you say these clerks would be needed for, you have listed as engaged in the manufacture of weapons for a formation that is, as far as I can tell, made up by you and doesn't actually exist anywhere in the fluff (the "household guard").


Transport Pool and Armoured Company - 1 per vehicle in the chapter.
100 Rhinos
20 Predators
20 Whirlwinds
15 Vindicators
5 Damocles
15 Land Raiders (different variants)
30 Land Speeders
+ 3 per Dreadnought

Again, 1 supply clerk/Administrator per 5 - 220 + 44 (9489)

This strikes me as reasonable.


Dockyard support - I'd put this at 2000 dockyard workers for ship construction and repairs, maintenance of the shipyards and so on, plus 1 clerk per 10 workers - 2200 (11689)

The number seems reasonable but a lot of the workers might be servitors, rather than chapter serfs.


Flight control - 1 senior controller, 5 orbital controllers, 20 sub-orbital controllers (11715)

No problem here.


Warehousemen/Stevedores - 3 senior warehousemen, 40 crew gangs (1 overseer and 4 workers) to unload supply transports (working 2 shifts, 20 on duty at any time) and a clerk for each gang - 247 (11962)

No problem here, but again, much of this work might be done by servitors, some of them perhaps wired into heavy cargo-handling equipment.


Quartermasters - 3 per company dealing with weapons and munitions, 1 per company dealing with armour, 2 per company dealing with miscellaneous items (blankets for their cells, clothing etc), plus one clerk per QM to account for it all - 120 (12082)

Now you're counting guys twice. You already listed company quartermasters at a rate of 3 per company, which I think is excessive in it's own right, and now you want to re-count those 3 per company AND add another three? Six quartermasters per company? A modern infantry company has a single quartermaster sergeant who deals with weapons of all types, ammo, medical supplies, body armor, communications gear and electronics, sensor gear, uniforms and boots, and basically everything else.... and you think that each Marine company needs TWO quartermasters just to handle miscellaneous items like blankets and clothing, who wouldn't even touch weapons/ammo and the power armor? When we know that Marines live exceptionally spartan lifestyles? A bit silly, I think.


Power supply - whether it's solar, geothermal, fission, fusion or hamsters on treadmills, they have to supply power to the fortress-monastary, and whilst this would likely fall under the auspices of the Master of the Forge, it would have it's own dedicated staff - best guess would be 1000 workers, some in the actual generation areas, others spread around making sure that the power goes where it's supposed to and balancing load. (13082)

This sounds reasonable and is comparable to the needs of a modern multi-gigawatt nuclear power plant, but I would think that a significant number of those workers might be servitors and thus not count towards the serf population.


Administration - These are the people that have to pull all the documentation together from all the other departments, collate it and account for expenditure, then procure more supplies based on planned actions over the next few years.

Departmental liason - one per four clerks in other departments, let's call that 500 as a round figure. (13582)

This seems reasonable, maybe a bit high, but not outrageously so. However....


Accountants - whilst we're not normally talking about money, we can still say people have to monitor consumption of food, fuel, ores, chemicals, medicines. I'm going with 1000. (14582)

Seems wildly overstated, I would say a few hundred at most. In real life, even some executive departments of the US government get by with fewer than a thousand people in their accounting department.


Procurement - 400 - it's a lot easier to order stuff than track it. (14982)
Planning - one of the smaller departments, I'd say about 40. (15022)

No real problem with these.


Servitor maintenance - there'll be a lot of servitors, mostly in the forges, the warehouses, and the shipyards, plus the combat training servitors - if we say 10,000 servitors, and one person is capable of maintaining 10 - another 1000 people (16022).

I would say that your own estimates don't actually support the idea of 10,000 servitors, since you seem to think that servitors do less than the fluff suggests--every time there is a need for maintenance personnel or assembly-line manufacturing workers, you have added in another mob of serfs to handle it, rather than letting the servitors do what they are supposed to be doing. But of course I obviously DO think that the servitors are doing a lot of this work, so I have no problem with the number 10,000. But as for how many people would be needed to maintain them, your 1-per-10 figure is no more valid than, say, 1 per 100 (or 1 per 2, for that matter), because we simply don't know how reliable servitors are, or what kind of hours-of-work per hours-of-maintenance ratio they might have. Anything here is going to be purely baseless conjecture.


Ambassadorial staff - chapters occasionally get visits from Imperial diplomats, Inquisitors and so on, so they'd need butlers, stewards etc who are capable of dealing with them appropriately. Maybe another 100 or so (16122).

I'd say less than this, but it's a fairly minor point, so whatever.


I'm sure we can think of more (and probably trim some from the list), but hopefully 20,000 is sounding a lot more plausible

To sum up, I would say that no, I still don't think 20,000 is plausible. I would say that 10,000 is more plausible. Again, you seem to have thousands upon thousands of serfs doing things that I think would be done by servitors. You've also 'padded' most of your departmental estimates with what I would consider to be unnecessary personnel, sometimes in large numbers. A huge number of these personnel stem from your alleged need to support the "household guard", a quite large military unit which you seem to have made up on your own, and which no fluff sources indicate is actually included in Marine chapters.


Remember that The Fang is basically a hive and starships dock at it's upper reaches (which therefore has to be at least at geostationary orbit altitude) - and I can't believe that it's unique for a chapter to have something that big (although most probably aren't as high).

Yeah, I know how big the Fang is, and frankly, it's absurd. According the fluff, the Fang isn't a hive--it's massively bigger than a hive. If you want to go so far as to say that it's tip is in GSO, that would mean that the Fang is about 23,000 MILES in height. Which is more than 2000 times taller than a Hive City (according to the Necromunda sourcebook, that planet's Hive Primus is 10 miles high) and thus about eight BILLION times as large in terms of internal volume, assuming a roughly similar shape. This also means that the Fang's base would cover an area the size of a fair-sized continent even if it was quite narrow in relation to it's height. A population of trillions would be miniscule inside a structure of that size. Even assuming it's tip is only high enough for ships in low orbit to dock (~200 miles or so?), it's twenty times higher than a hive, and assuming roughly the same shape, thus about eight thousand times as big. Ships in low orbit would also be moving at several miles per second in relation to the Fang, so that's another problem with the idea (I realize that's why you said GSO, because then ships would be able to manuever up to the tip slowly, but we've already covered why the GSO height is absurd).

I think it's best to just assume that the guys who wrote the Fang fluff know absolutely nothing about orbital mechanics, space, or atmospheres, and leave it at that. Using it to try and figure out the size and thus staff requirements of a fortress monastery is going to lead us down a totally untenable road.


20,000 people may well be far too few to keep something like that running, maybe rather than one maintenance person per 2 marines, it's more like 10 per Marine just to keep the place from falling apart.

If the fang was really as big as it's claimed to be, twenty BILLION people would probably be far too few to keep it running.


If you notice my figures, I've got the household guard outside of the household staff - but they would still count as chapter serfs - people who are bonded to the chapter, and all their life is spent working for that chapter (I guess we're onto defining what a Serf actually is).

Household guard is still your personal invention as far as I can tell. We know that Marine planets sometimes have PDFs, but that's not the same thing, and those guys aren't serfs (at least the MDA troopers aren't, and we can probably assume that the Ultramarines present a fairly representative example).

I'd say a good working definition of a serf is someone who has a lifelong (probably hereditary, if they reproduce) and legally binding (such as it is, in the Imperium) obligation to serve the chapter. Under this definition, marine homeworld PDF personnel aren't serfs, because they are basically ordinary soldiers who are recruited from the planetary population as young men and released back into civilian life after a set term of service, or when they start to get a bit too old to be running around with heavy rucks playing soldier.


As to the last question - because someone has to cook, clean and otherwise support them, and those people will be additional to those who support the marines?

If a Marine homeworld has a PDF, I would expect it's support and service personnel to be organic to the PDF units themselves, just as they are to any other military formation, rather than part of the Chapter population of serfs.


I'd say yes and no - whilst the populace would almost certainly give something to the Marines, the chapter would almost certainly have their own holdings, farms etc to ensure that they get what they need, especially with the more exotic items (chemicals for explosives, fuel, rare ores etc).

I don't see any particular reason that this would be true. Their homeworld population can provide those raw resources just as well as they provide others, and just as well as a serf-staffed holding could.


Agree with the first point, but the majority of the household staff is doing things that support the rest of the household staff, not directly supporting the marines. Very few will actually interact with them on a face to face basis, and most of those will be in places like the Forge and Apothecarion.

Not sure what you mean here; in the comment that it looks like you are responding to with this, I said that the homeworld PDFs are not serfs, that you hadn't convincingly established your 20,000 figure, and that the people whose labor provides the chapter with raw resources aren't serfs either. Your response above doesn't seem clear in light of that.


And if the people outside the chapter but working solely for them in the fields, mines etc aren't serfs, then what do you suggest they are?

Planetary citizens who are employed in an industry or economic sector which sends it's output to the Chapter. Taxpayers, in a sense. Conceptually not much different from Imperial citizens on a normal planet (i.e., not an SM homeworld) who work in a factory or farm or whatever, producing goods, of which some percentage are taken to pay the planet's tithes to the Administratum.

starlight
01-09-2009, 20:39
tl;dr

Okay, I red, but can't be bothered to respond to each point...


tl;dr

Ditto. :p


You're both right, and you're both wrong. :p With 1000+ Chapters out there, there is enough diversity to do whatever you want with your DIY forces. There are thousands of serfs, whether it's 1,000 or 99,000 is irrelevant.

Have fun, get off the computer and game more. :eek:

Lothlanathorian
01-09-2009, 20:58
Planetary citizens who are employed in an industry or economic sector which sends it's output to the Chapter. Taxpayers, in a sense. Conceptually not much different from Imperial citizens on a normal planet (i.e., not an SM homeworld) who work in a factory or farm or whatever, producing goods, of which some percentage are taken to pay the planet's tithes to the Administratum.

Marine homeworlds don't have to pay tithes.


Other than that, I am in agreement with Servitors getting the lion's share of the hard work.

Argastes
01-09-2009, 22:41
Marine homeworlds don't have to pay tithes.

I know, I think you misunderstood me. I was saying that the civilian population of a Marine homeworld probably gives a certain percentage of their economic produce to the chapter in the same way that, on normal (non-SM-homeworld) planets, a certain percentage of the population's economic output goes to pay tithes to the Administratum. I'm comparing the method by which chapters obtain resources to the methods by which the Administratum tithes get paid, not saying that chapter homeworlds pay tithes.

Condottiere
01-09-2009, 22:57
I love TO&Es, and certainly appreciate the effort that Sai-Lauren has taken in this compilation.

Though at 20'000, that's the equivalent of a reinforced autonomous division supporting a reinforced battalion, or perhaps in this case, battle-group.

Wolflord Havoc
01-09-2009, 23:04
Don't some chapters allow their serfs to have family and procreate? I think the Space Wolves were such a chapter.
Doing this gives you the advantage of having potential recruits at hand, and having families utterly loyal to the chapter. But perhaps I'm imagining this piece of background lore.

Well I always understood that their are large well organised 'tribes' on Asanhiem (sp?) the stable continent of Fenris and these are made up from those 'chosen' who are found wanting for what ever reason and are never given Russ's gift and their offsping.

They form the role of Chapter Serfs for the Space Wolves (and no I have no idea where the ladies originally came from???).

As far as I am aware the majority of a Space Marine Chapter Fleet Crews would be Chapter Serfs and servitors.

In my opinion an average chapter Serf would be superior in terms of training, equipment and morale than his equivalent in the Guard/Navy.

Lothlanathorian
02-09-2009, 05:46
I know, I think you misunderstood me. I was saying that the civilian population of a Marine homeworld probably gives a certain percentage of their economic produce to the chapter in the same way that, on normal (non-SM-homeworld) planets, a certain percentage of the population's economic output goes to pay tithes to the Administratum. I'm comparing the method by which chapters obtain resources to the methods by which the Administratum tithes get paid, not saying that chapter homeworlds pay tithes.

Ah. I see. That, I would think, depends on the planet and the Chapter and how much contact they may have with the planet's population.

Condottiere
02-09-2009, 06:30
Possibly such planets suffer a higher tax burden, which is compensated by greater security, and possibly prestige.

Lothlanathorian
02-09-2009, 06:46
I know the Ultrasmurfs get supplies from the planets in their mini empire as well as paying Imperial Tithes (because they are douches and love the smell of their own farts) and Salamanders interact with the civilian populace of their homeworld, but then their are Chapters like the Space Wolves that only ever show up to take aspirants. I am sure they have mines they operate via serfs and servitors, but not the civies.

Sai-Lauren
02-09-2009, 10:51
Argastes, it's really difficult to say this without making it sound like "put up or shut up", and I honestly mean this in the politest way - I'd be interested to see your figures. :)

To clarify a couple of points you raised - the orderlies are mainly there because I don't expect one normal human to carry a wounded marine on a stretcher, they're also there for the more general fetching and carrying that would be needed (and sweeping, blood mopping, trying to hold down a novice who's just gone psychotic because their implants went wrong, etc), the same for the nurses - who will also deal with things like monitoring patients and the more minor incidents that don't require the immediate attentions of an apothecary (maybe even Novices coming in for their daily injections whilst implanted organs are settling in, whilst the nurses will be trained to look for certain anomalies and alert someone immediately if need be).

Plus, some of those staff will go on campaign with companies, and whilst the medical staff on the marine's vessels will also be involved (in fact, I didn't count the serf crews at all), they'll primarily be the ones on the ground in the field hospitals, and if you're not paying wages (room and board's about it), it's better to have too many in peacetime than too few in wartime.

Yes, I do believe each company would have their own historian, someone who is in the field with the Company and records their deeds there and then. That will then go back into the Librarium, be put into the chapter's archives, and incorporated by the historians there into the chapters own legacy. Meantime, a lot of the Librarium's staff is probably doing general maintenance on the chapters archives, copying
Kind of like a news agency, they have field reporters, who send their work back to journalists and editors back in the office to go into print/broadcast.

Don't forget, all the Marines in the departments still have to train and do all the other things their brethren do, so the humans in them will pretty much run those departments most of the time.

The company quartermasters are there because I see marines as going through a great deal of munitions, even when in training - their enhanced endurance means that where a normal human could spend, say, an hour on the ranges, they'd be there for three or four. They'd need the three of them to keep up, especially if part of the company is on the ranges with the heavy weapons, another part is out in desert terrain doing survival training, some are doing melee combat practise with paired chainswords and the remainder are halfway up a mountain practising their climbing and tundra-craft.

Plus it kind of ties in at one per officer in my version of the company command - each quartermaster can liase with a single officer/mission commander and equip "their" marines for the mission they're about to carry out, rather than get bogged down in paperwork, or have someone pull rank to jump the queue, meaning that another mission group gets neglected. Marines can't survive unless they're flexible, a part of which to me means short supply chains, and a single QM per company seems more like something the chapter supplies to each company, but never really becomes a part of it, whilst three of them seems more organic to the company itself.

Smiths in the forge - whilst Servitors will be doing the bulk lifting, die stamping, chemical mixing, packing and so on, I personally wouldn't trust servitors to do delicate work like placing fuses into grenades, missiles, even bolter shells. Plus, there's the Imperial Faith and superstition to consider, those smiths will have to intone the correct prayers, spray holy water, waft incense and stamp blessed wax seals as they do their work, again something that I can't see servitors doing.

All that ritual is going to take time, each bolter shell could be a couple of minutes of manual work - so one clip which a marine will expend in about 30 seconds firing could take a smith about an hour to make the bolts for.

This is the Imperium of Mankind, workers are cheap.

Starlight, yeah, I probably should spend more time gaming :D , but as an old roleplayer, knocking the background into shape can be just as much fun sometimes, and it's a useful thought excercise as well.

Burnthem
02-09-2009, 12:02
Whilst mostly i'd agree with what you say Sai, I'd have to disagree with the number required for manufacturing. Out of the entire Imperium i'd say Chapters are second only to the Mechanicus when it comes to levels of automation, and the 'end product' is blessed in its entirety rather than at every stage of production and assembly.

Some of the more hard-line Chapters may well require this, but i'd certainly like to think that the more mainstream Chapters are happy to bless a crate or even a warehouse of Bolter shells all at once.

Argastes
02-09-2009, 13:21
Smiths in the forge - whilst Servitors will be doing the bulk lifting, die stamping, chemical mixing, packing and so on, I personally wouldn't trust servitors to do delicate work like placing fuses into grenades, missiles, even bolter shells.

There is no reason this has to be done "delicately" by hand. Fuze insertion could be one of the steps in an automated assembly line. It's that way with a lot of modern fuzed ammunition such as automatic cannon shells, grenades, RPG rounds, and so forth. To me, assuming that these things would have to be done by hand by human smiths is just adding makework that unnecessarily inflates the number of serfs the chapter has.


Plus, there's the Imperial Faith and superstition to consider, those smiths will have to intone the correct prayers, spray holy water, waft incense and stamp blessed wax seals as they do their work, again something that I can't see servitors doing.

All that ritual is going to take time, each bolter shell could be a couple of minutes of manual work - so one clip which a marine will expend in about 30 seconds firing could take a smith about an hour to make the bolts for.

I'd agree with Burnthem, this level of techno-religious timewasting isn't necessarily present. It's certainly not necessarily supported by the fluff. Not that I think they don't chant prayers and waft incense and stuff while they work, but I see that as being done by, say, a couple of guys walking back and forth along the assembly line with censors and such, rather than being done constantly, by every guy, while they work.


The company quartermasters are there because I see marines as going through a great deal of munitions, even when in training - their enhanced endurance means that where a normal human could spend, say, an hour on the ranges, they'd be there for three or four. They'd need the three of them to keep up, especially if part of the company is on the ranges with the heavy weapons, another part is out in desert terrain doing survival training, some are doing melee combat practise with paired chainswords and the remainder are halfway up a mountain practising their climbing and tundra-craft.

My assumption would be that a given company has all it's personnel training in the same thing on a given day. Regardless, though, I feel that your six quartermasters per company is excessive and silly. Yeah, Marines burn through more ammo, etc., than human soldiers while training (or fighting), so I could deal with 2 or maybe three per company, but six is just a little much--one just for miscellaneous supplies like clothing and blankets? Again, I also think the company quartermaster(s) would be sergeants, rather than serfs. They would be part of the company command section along with lieutenants.

My own figures can be seen fairly clearly in the long post I made earlier responding to your own figures. You'll note that I responded to each set of estimates individually, so you can go through and see where I've said "I have no problem with this", and where I've said "This seems too high, I'd guess more like five hundred" (or whatever). I realize this won't add up to an exacty figure in the same way yours did, but since it's going to vary from chapter to chapter anyhow, I don't see that as a problem.

Sai-Lauren
02-09-2009, 16:09
My own figures can be seen fairly clearly in the long post I made earlier responding to your own figures. You'll note that I responded to each set of estimates individually, so you can go through and see where I've said "I have no problem with this", and where I've said "This seems too high, I'd guess more like five hundred" (or whatever). I realize this won't add up to an exacty figure in the same way yours did, but since it's going to vary from chapter to chapter anyhow, I don't see that as a problem.

My apologies, I only skim read it.

No evidence for Household Guard? Well, how many times do we know a Marine chapter's homeworld has been attacked? The only three I can think of are the Crimson Fists (Orks, fortress-monastary and most of the chapter and support destroyed), the Ultramarines (Hive Fleet Behemoth, aided by Ultramar PDF), and the Space Wolves (when most of the Wolves are off world post-heresy, and who did Bjorn get in line to defend The Fang?).

Dropping out of the universe for a second, GW would of course not tend to cover them, they wouldn't go on campaign as I said way back, and they spend most of their time focussing instead on the Marines themselves (to everyone's deficit), but it's one of those things that (IMO) logically has to be there - same as pretty much everything else you've agreed with (even if you've disputed the numbers of them ;)).
I'd say most of the time, two, maybe three Marine companies are on world, and even with the scouts in training, novices, automated defences and any civilian militia they can drum up, that's not going to be enough to defend against a serious attack. Even a single regiment probably wouldn't be enough, but it would help buy time for the rest of the Imperium to arrive and help.

But anyway, they, and the Marines, are pretty much the homeworld's PDF - most chapters homeworlds don't have any others (the Ultramarines and some of their successors are exceptional in that regards, as they recruit from relatively civilised worlds).

And a third piece of potential evidence (following logic and PDF) is, when the Primarchs were recovered, most had warrior lodges or something similar, and the troops from them got split in three ways - the out of age range commanders, who got bespoke treatments (Luther for example), those who were of age to receive normal Marine enhancements, who became the first marines of the Named Legion (all others were from Terra and were members of the numbered Legion), and those who were neither. But most, if not all of those people would still have been taken into the Legion, some as navy crews, others as what would become their Household Guard.

But why do you think they wouldn't exist?

Marines as quartermasters - sorry, I really just cannot see that at all. Marines are soldiers - first, last and pretty much only. They don't really have the spare time in the day when not in combat for things like doing the book keeping that a Quartermasters role would entail, and they certainly wouldn't have when on campaign. It pretty much needs to be non-combatant staff who fill these roles.

And yes, I do think there would be company level QMs and chapter level ones - the company level ones would be part of the company command structure, and would travel with their company on campaign, the chapter ones would stay at home. Maybe we can reduce some of the numbers, but I don't think we can get rid of them entirely.

Techno-religious timewasting - like it:). But, even the Ultramarines, who seem to be one of the more rational chapters, go on about armour and weapon spirits - one of the bits of fluff (unnamed chapter) was the rites of firing a missile launcher, where a prayer was made to the missiles spirit so that it would generate enough righteous anger to consume itself and detonate correctly. And to me, it's a cool image to have marines firing their bolters into the enemy, saying prayers to the ammunition spirits as they depart their weapons to slay their foes, but for that, I don't think a quick "Hail Emperor" to a crate as it leaves the Forge is going to cut it somehow.

I also can't see the Techmarines having time to oversee too much, aside from their military duties, I see them as spending most of their time involved in the maintenance and construction of the highest tech items - TDA, Land Raiders, even Battle Barges - which is pretty much why such stuff is so rare, it's not that it can't be made, it's that it's difficult, time consuming and the people who can do it don't have much time to spare to do it.

Another question to ask is, post-heresy, what were the manufacturing facilities like? Mars was burning, the production lines on Terra were pretty much all the loyalists could rely on, and a lot of that was probably staffed by anyone they could find, rather than having servitors doing everything (Dorn ripped out what he could and brought it to the Palace, I doubt much automation came with it). It could be that manufacture was mostly a manual process at that time as a stop gap, except the stop-gap never got replaced, and even though they could be done by servitors, the original reason why it's done manually is forgotten, it's just always been done that way, and tradition and superstition take over.

Yes, it is manpower intensive and over the top, but the Imperium has teams of people hauling torpedoes around on their vessels when even some thing like hydraulics would do the job, and there's people in the Administratum who seem to spend their entire lives doing nothing but taking pieces of paper from someone else, stamping them to say that they've landed on their desks, and then passing them on to a third person to actually do something with them.
I don't think the Imperium has anyone who does workplace efficiency studies, to be honest. :D

Also (and something that's been on my mind for a while), have you ever read the Judge Dredd comic strips? Mega City 1 has an unemployment rate of heading for 100%, thanks to production automation, robotics and AI and so on, and crime, civil unrest, even occasional occult activity is endemic.

Now think what that kind of unemployment rate would mean for the Imperium - you could make everything with Servitors, but if it means you need 100 times the law enforcement personnel to supress riots, rebellions and occult activities, would you really want to?

Even the AM and the industrial houses of the hives (who, let's face it, are in it for money and would do anything to increase efficiencies and maximise profits if they could) have human workers on their factory floors, they're not all servitor based.

Burnthem
02-09-2009, 18:19
Yes, the Imperium is deliberately labour-intensive, but Space Marine Chapters are not the Imperium per se. Like i said earlier, if anybody has a high level of automation its a Chapter, as they don't have the requirement to keep the 'masses' in line through hard work and they have access to the technology required to highly automate production lines. If they can outfit every single Land Raider with a rudimentary AI then i'm sure a factory line to produce Bolt Shells would be no struggle at all.

As for prayers before firing etc, i think many people see the extreme version of this, with a Marine swinging incense, closing his eyes, getting on his knees and chanting fifteen verses of the appropriate prayer. Whereas in my mind it is little more than what a modern day soldier might do, ie; 'Please god/emperor/whatever-deity let this hit' as he pulls the trigger.

Argastes
02-09-2009, 19:54
No evidence for Household Guard? Well, how many times do we know a Marine chapter's homeworld has been attacked? The only three I can think of are the Crimson Fists (Orks, fortress-monastary and most of the chapter and support destroyed), the Ultramarines (Hive Fleet Behemoth, aided by Ultramar PDF), and the Space Wolves (when most of the Wolves are off world post-heresy, and who did Bjorn get in line to defend The Fang?).

Dropping out of the universe for a second, GW would of course not tend to cover them, they wouldn't go on campaign as I said way back, and they spend most of their time focussing instead on the Marines themselves (to everyone's deficit), but it's one of those things that (IMO) logically has to be there - same as pretty much everything else you've agreed with (even if you've disputed the numbers of them ;)).
I'd say most of the time, two, maybe three Marine companies are on world, and even with the scouts in training, novices, automated defences and any civilian militia they can drum up, that's not going to be enough to defend against a serious attack. Even a single regiment probably wouldn't be enough, but it would help buy time for the rest of the Imperium to arrive and help.

See, I disagree that they would need an IG-regiment-strength force of household guard serfs, on top of everything else, for defense of the homeworld. The idea is that if the homeworld is attacked while the bulk of the chapter is away, the guys who are there lock themselves in the fortress monastery and hold out under siege while they wait to be relieved. In a siege situation, assuming the besieged fortress is properly designed, a very small force can hold off a very large one. So yes they would need some number of serfs to man the fortress monastery defenses (which is no problem since the chapter fortress would indeed contain plenty of serfs even when the chapter itself was mostly away on campaign), but I see no imperative to assume the existence of an 8000-man defense force in addition to that.

If you really want to assume they exist, I can't stop you. But what I'm saying is that there is no fluff justification for them. That's a slippery slope; if we went through the Marine fluff and started assuming the existence of things that would logically have to exist even though they're not mentioned in the fluff, we'd have to assume things like "the presence of remotely sensible tactics in Marine battle plans" (;)) and so forth.


Marines as quartermasters - sorry, I really just cannot see that at all. Marines are soldiers - first, last and pretty much only. They don't really have the spare time in the day when not in combat for things like doing the book keeping that a Quartermasters role would entail, and they certainly wouldn't have when on campaign. It pretty much needs to be non-combatant staff who fill these roles.

I disagree. You say that a Marine wouldn't have the spare time during the day to do these things, but our indication of how much spare time a marine has comes from that "daily rituals of a Space Marine" fluff-bit, which seems to pertain more to the rank-and-file battle brethren than to officers and those with special duties. I think it's safe to assume that certain marines spend much less time in combat training than the normal battle brothers. For instance, from the same codex where the "daily rituals" were described, we know that Space Marine Captains aren't just combat commanders, but have additional non-combat duties such as "Master of the Marches" and "Chief Victualler"(!). Obviously some Marines have rank and/or duties that mean they can't spend 23 hours a day in combat training (hyperbole, I know) like the line battle brothers. Besides, you yourself mentioned the possibility of "medically retired" SM veterans when you were talking about your household guard guys. They'd make ideal QMS candidates.


And yes, I do think there would be company level QMs and chapter level ones - the company level ones would be part of the company command structure, and would travel with their company on campaign, the chapter ones would stay at home. Maybe we can reduce some of the numbers, but I don't think we can get rid of them entirely.

I don't disagree with the need for QMs at both levels, but you cited six for each company--three for weapons, one for armor, two for miscellaneous items. After already citing three per company, but before you were talking about chapter-level administrative personnel. It seems like you were saying that each company has no less than six quartermasters in it's ranks. If you meant otherwise, it wasn't clear.


Techno-religious timewasting - like it:). But, even the Ultramarines, who seem to be one of the more rational chapters, go on about armour and weapon spirits - one of the bits of fluff (unnamed chapter) was the rites of firing a missile launcher, where a prayer was made to the missiles spirit so that it would generate enough righteous anger to consume itself and detonate correctly. And to me, it's a cool image to have marines firing their bolters into the enemy, saying prayers to the ammunition spirits as they depart their weapons to slay their foes, but for that, I don't think a quick "Hail Emperor" to a crate as it leaves the Forge is going to cut it somehow.

I never suggested that all they would do is say a quick "Hail Emperor" as it leaves the forge, and I don't disagree that it's a cool image to have Marines saying prayers to their weapons and ammunition as they fire. What I'm saying is that the assembly lines are probably staffed by servitors, and that there are guys swinging censors and chanting prayers along the line (which is itself probably consecrated), rather than having human smiths assembling each bolter shell by hand and saying a little prayer at every stage of the process on every shell.


I also can't see the Techmarines having time to oversee too much, aside from their military duties, I see them as spending most of their time involved in the maintenance and construction of the highest tech items - TDA, Land Raiders, even Battle Barges - which is pretty much why such stuff is so rare, it's not that it can't be made, it's that it's difficult, time consuming and the people who can do it don't have much time to spare to do it.

Re-read my post, I never said that the techmarines had to be the ones who said prayers over the assembly line and such. It could be serfs who work in the forge. I've never said that there would be no serfs working in the chapter forge, I've only said that there wouldn't be as many as you claim (because they wouldn't make up the bulk of the forge's assembly-line workers).


Another question to ask is, post-heresy, what were the manufacturing facilities like? Mars was burning, the production lines on Terra were pretty much all the loyalists could rely on, and a lot of that was probably staffed by anyone they could find, rather than having servitors doing everything (Dorn ripped out what he could and brought it to the Palace, I doubt much automation came with it). It could be that manufacture was mostly a manual process at that time as a stop gap, except the stop-gap never got replaced, and even though they could be done by servitors, the original reason why it's done manually is forgotten, it's just always been done that way, and tradition and superstition take over.

Not sure what this speculation is in aid of. Nor what the industrial damage on Mars and Terra would have to do with the manufacturing facilities of most SM chapters.


Yes, it is manpower intensive and over the top, but the Imperium has teams of people hauling torpedoes around on their vessels when even some thing like hydraulics would do the job, and there's people in the Administratum who seem to spend their entire lives doing nothing but taking pieces of paper from someone else, stamping them to say that they've landed on their desks, and then passing them on to a third person to actually do something with them.
I don't think the Imperium has anyone who does workplace efficiency studies, to be honest. :D

Also (and something that's been on my mind for a while), have you ever read the Judge Dredd comic strips? Mega City 1 has an unemployment rate of heading for 100%, thanks to production automation, robotics and AI and so on, and crime, civil unrest, even occasional occult activity is endemic.

Now think what that kind of unemployment rate would mean for the Imperium - you could make everything with Servitors, but if it means you need 100 times the law enforcement personnel to supress riots, rebellions and occult activities, would you really want to?

Even the AM and the industrial houses of the hives (who, let's face it, are in it for money and would do anything to increase efficiencies and maximise profits if they could) have human workers on their factory floors, they're not all servitor based.

As Burnthem points out, SM chapters are not representative of the general Imperium. I'm not suggesting that because SM chapters use servitor assembly lines to manufacture munitions, the same technology might be used by hive-world industrial clans and whatnot. We know, in fact, that creating servitors is mainly the province of the AM and the SM techmarines they have trained.

Sai-Lauren
03-09-2009, 12:18
Not sure what this speculation is in aid of. Nor what the industrial damage on Mars and Terra would have to do with the manufacturing facilities of most SM chapters.

Remember that prior to the heresy, virtually all war materiel was coming from the AM, the Legions themselves didn't make very much at all.

In the immediate aftermath, the only secure source of materiel that the Legions had was Terra, specifically those things that had been taken from Mars to aid in the defence of the Emperors Palace. Automation level would be practically zero, and most of the manual workers would be unskilled - which then means you need to bring in what will eventually become the rituals as a form of quality control.

Now fast forward a bit, to the end of the pursuit to the eye. Whilst they will have recovered Forge Worlds on the way, I would suggest that all of them would have been affected somehow by the fighting, be it the schism in the AM itself, raiders attacking relatively undefended targets or the imperium taking whatever they could, by force if necessary, so most, if not all of the production lines are gone (this is reinforced by the lines about so much being lost by the AM - some of it will be items - ships, aircraft, weapons, and some will be ways of doing things, which in some cases are even more important).

The Imperial War Machine was basically shattered by the Heresy, and virtually incapable of it's own defence.

In this situation, you get the production lines going however you can and worry about making it more efficient if there is a later - so the Terra model would have been followed - minimal automation and unskilled workers, with whoever you have overseeing it to make sure it's up to the task.

Now fast forward a few more years, to the second founding. Guilliman would almost certainly have seen that the new chapters needed their own production facilities, and used the pacts with the AM to set them up, but they would be similar to what currently existed, minimal automation, but with the plan to put it in place later, once the AM had recovered and could roll that out.

Of course, later never comes, there's always something that gets in the way and means that you can't do it at the moment. ;) Even new chapters wouldn't have advanced production systems - they would use their parent chapters production methods, because that's all they know.

And anyway, aren't the rules for Servitors that if their controller dies or goes outside a certain distance, they effectively do nothing. That implies to me that they're pretty unintelligent automatons, they need a controller to tell them what to do (although on the lines of target x), which then acts as a macro on implanted memory engrams.

Production servitors are probably even less advanced/intelligent than those - they'd need someone running them, making sure whatever they're doing is ready to be worked on, telling them to do it, then removing whatever they've done and any wastes and putting the next items in place.

And the number of servitors was meant as the total number in the fortress-monastary, which includes those in places like the forge and the warehouses/ orbital dockyards, plus those hard-wired into defence turrets, those who assist the maintenance teams (from sewer cleaners to floor sweepers), the combat training ones and so on. Guess I should have made that clear at the time.



As Burnthem points out, SM chapters are not representative of the general Imperium. I'm not suggesting that because SM chapters use servitor assembly lines to manufacture munitions, the same technology might be used by hive-world industrial clans and whatnot. We know, in fact, that creating servitors is mainly the province of the AM and the SM techmarines they have trained.
Actually, I'd say the reverse, if the general Imperium doesn't have it, then it's unlikely Marine chapters or the AM do - even if it's restricted technology, money has a funny way of getting people to modify their beliefs, and the industrial families are very, very rich people.

As I said in a previous post, manpower in the Imperium is dirt cheap, and it's advantageous to keep the population busy and not thinking about things they shouldn't be - don't think of a modern conveyor belt production line, think more like a late-victorian cotton mill or steel works - dark, dirty, cramped, hot and humid, with children crawling under whatever machinery is there, heads and limbs inches away from scalding hot and/or fast moving parts to recover items.
If Bob loses his fingers in a machine, then his friends might care, but Bob's supervisor probably won't care much beyond whether it'll affect his teams production rate.

There's some automation there, but there's still a massive workforce to do all the fine work, maintain the machines and so on.

Oh, and another reason for the Household guard - internal security/policing. If the serfs decide to rise up against their masters (which could happen, Marines aren't exactly known to be the most empathic of people), even a chapter of marines might be hard pushed to supress it, especially if most of them are off world.

Condottiere
03-09-2009, 12:25
Seems unlikely that serfs would stage an armed revolt against Marines.

They might be outside forces could spread dissatisfaction among them, but more loyally inclined serfs would probably inform on those so inclined. A revolt seems more likely among those on the fringes of a Chapter, such as on planets designated as recruiting areas or tithed manufacturing centres.

MadDoc
04-09-2009, 04:30
Remember that prior to the heresy, virtually all war materiel was coming from the AM, the Legions themselves didn't make very much at all.

Odd then that Horus Heresy: Fallen Angels suggests that the Dark Angels Legion recieves troops and quite a substantial amount of materiel directly from Caliban. Yet little mention (actually none) is made of the bulk of it coming from the Mechanicum. Specialist kit like Siege Engines aside...

But hey, lets just ignore the establish background and go with what works, right? :angel:

Arkondak
04-09-2009, 08:18
Would chapter serfs serving as a ship's crew be better represented with inquisition rules with stormtrooper models, or guard rules with cadian or catachan models?

Sai-Lauren
04-09-2009, 08:36
Seems unlikely that serfs would stage an armed revolt against Marines.
Really?

Despite their discipline, faith and indoctrination, Commissars, Inquisitors, Marines and Sororitas have all fallen.

What about the failed aspirant who still harbours resentment against those he feels denied him his destiny, the serf who's brother is killed in an industrial accident, the librarium clerk who delves a little too deeply into research for the Chapter's upcoming deployment against a Chaos held world?

MadDoc, that's book 2 isn't it? Not got around to reading it yet (and after book 1, frankly, I'm not that bothered by it). But Mechanicum (set during the Heresy itself, and not the lead up) especially makes reference to all the war materiel being manufactured on Mars going to the Legions (and not the army) - everything from bolter shells to armour plate. And there are other references in the other novels (and as Mechanicum got published first, who's really ignoring the established background and going with what works for them? ;)).

Plus, why would Horus work so hard to bring the AM on side if the Legions were self-sufficient - aside from the Titan Legions who could have been corrupted individually like the Marine Legions were.

How long after book 1 is it set, because Caliban wasn't that industrialised then, and to be honest, I don't think it's possible to have that set up in the kind of timelines we're talking about (the whole crusade's less than 2 centuries isn't it?).

But, to correct the inconsistency, the Dark Angels and their successors could be an anomaly - they could have been given automated production lines, which was something that was intended to be rolled out to the rest of the Legions (and being Legion number 1, they got them first), which then got abandoned when the heresy kicked off.

With the destruction of most of Caliban, all that would likely have been lost or damaged, and even the DA could be down to manual processes now.

But the biggest reason they would be manual production lines? Politics.

The Imperium isn't a happy, slightly disfunctional family, it's a loose aggregation of independantly minded organisations who actively distrust and in some cases hate the others, held together by a figure head, strong willed individuals, threats of violence and the certainty that no one organisation could survive in the universe on it's own without everyone else.

We have Inquisitors making power plays against each other, and ordering assassinations of aides (IA7) and the Ecclesiarchy and Sororitas viewing Marine chapters as witch-consorts, mutants and heretics because they view the Emperor more as a grandfather figure than the omnipotent god of humanity, who they barely tolerate only because they're the Emperor's chosen.

Even Marine chapters don't get along, for instance, there's the Dark Angels and Space Wolves, which seems to be viewed as twins wrestling to decide which of them is stronger, but is just about one step short of a blood fued - the two chosen champions that recreate the Johnson-Russ fights aren't there to draw first blood, they're there to beat seven shades of sediment out of their opponent - if the Wolves found a Fallen, I somehow don't think they'd knock on the Rock's front door and say "I believe this is yours", and be invited in for tea and cakes.

The Imperium wouldn't even be allowed on Jerry Springer.

The Adeptus Mechanicus is an organisation whose upper ecehlons are primarily composed of people who are so augmented that there's virtually nothing organic left, and so old that the organic that is left would be better off dead and decaying anyway - they're cyber-senile.

This is an organisation that has such a tight control of technology that a sniper calibrating his own gunsight is viewed as Tech-Heresy.

Techmarines may exist as far as the chapter is concerned to maintain the Chapters technology, but they could also be there as the AM's agents, to maintain the AM's control of Technology, by keeping it out of the hands of normal marines and maintaining the superstitions around it - making it appear unknowable except by those chosen by the machine god.

Burnthem
04-09-2009, 09:07
But the biggest reason they would be manual production lines? Politics..

I can see where you're coming from, but you then directly contradict yourself -


The Imperium isn't a happy, slightly disfunctional family, it's a loose aggregation of independantly minded organisations who actively distrust and in some cases hate the others, held together by a figure head, strong willed individuals, threats of violence and the certainty that no one organisation could survive in the universe on it's own without everyone else..

If they are such a disparate grouping of organisations (which i do agree on) then surely there is HUGE room for different standards. Just because the 'baseline' Imperium sometimes requires lots and lots of manual labour to keep the populace inline or whatever in no way means Marine Chapter have to as well. What the Imperium does and does not has about as much effect on a Chapter modus operandi as it does on the Eldar or the Tau. Whilst they all come under the umbrella of the 'Imperium', they could easily be completely seperate entities.

Hell, given the vast variety of 'baseline' human worlds in the Imperium there would be multiple examples of 'normal' worlds that do feature nearly 100% automation.


This is an organisation that has such a tight control of technology that a sniper calibrating his own gunsight is viewed as Tech-Heresy.

I favour the less extreme version of this view, as IMO this is just plain daft.

Condottiere
04-09-2009, 09:24
Pragmatism must have broken through at some stage regarding technology hocus pocus; though tension must exist between the AM and their end-users, similar to Apple and theirs. It didn't explode by itself, you just didn't perform the right rituals.