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Helsing
01-10-2009, 05:37
So I figure the Sisters of Battle being who they are are going to be somewhere in between the number of space marines and guardsmen. But just how many are there?

SabrX
01-10-2009, 05:56
Actually, Sisters of Battle are very few, "varying from a couple of thousand warriors to many thousands," (WH codex) but nowhere close to the number of Space Marines or Imperial Guard.

Iuris
01-10-2009, 06:07
The dark heresy RPG has one convent numbering in the tens of SoB in the whole sector - and they are the strongest fighting force in the sector, given there are no Marines around.

NightrawenII
01-10-2009, 08:35
Actually, the SoB numbers are around the numbers of SM. The SoB guard every barn with Ecclesiarchy mark on it.


Actually, Sisters of Battle are very few, "varying from a couple of thousand warriors to many thousands," (WH codex) but nowhere close to the number of Space Marines or Imperial Guard.

Ah, good ol' Goblin math.:)

Inquisitor S.
01-10-2009, 09:33
Actually, the SoB numbers are around the numbers of SM.
Says who? Sources please.

Gorbad Ironclaw
01-10-2009, 10:18
The same principle apply to the number of Sisters as apply to any kind of numbers in 40k. It's whatever fits the story at hand.

Condottiere
01-10-2009, 10:50
There are a million SMs, give or take.

Given the nature and range of their duties, the fact there are at least a million inhabited planets in the Imperium, the chances are good that the SoBs outnumber the SMs.

AndrewGPaul
01-10-2009, 13:45
The Sisters of Battle have been called upon to attack and destroy rogue Space Marine chapters before now. Given that means assaulting a well-defended fortress, there must be a fair few Sisters to go around (even assuming they call on Imperial Guard and Navy support for things like artillery air support). I would assume that each of the major Orders are sufficient for that task on their own.

Sai-Lauren
01-10-2009, 14:24
For a single convent/priory, maybe as few as 20-30, with an upper limit of a couple of hundred.

However, there could potentially be multiple convents on a single continental land mass on one planet, let alone planets in one sector. Add in that they also act as guards for cathedrals etc (plus maybe security for hospitals run by the Orders Hospitalier, and possibly even for some of the official holdings of the Ordo Hereticus), and there could potentially be thousands on a single world.

I'd reckon 10s of millions scattered across the Imperium, with no one having real direct command over all of them at any one time.

Lexington
01-10-2009, 14:39
There's actually only around 21,000 to 25,000 Sisters of Battle, according to the only source that's addressed the issue - the 2nd Edition Codex: Sisters of Battle. Which makes sense, really, when one thinks about it. Given the rarity and expense of power armor, it doesn't seem particularly possible for there to be a small army of Sisters guarding every shrine and holy relic in the Imperium.

Justicar Cullen
01-10-2009, 14:50
Breed a Space Marine and a Sister of Battle to make a Super baby, even though the sisters aren't augmented and the Space Marines weren't born the way they are...

Condottiere
01-10-2009, 14:51
I think I know that passage, but those numbers make even less sense than one SM for every planet in the Imperium.

Sai-Lauren
01-10-2009, 15:20
There's actually only around 21,000 to 25,000 Sisters of Battle, according to the only source that's addressed the issue - the 2nd Edition Codex: Sisters of Battle. Which makes sense, really, when one thinks about it. Given the rarity and expense of power armor, it doesn't seem particularly possible for there to be a small army of Sisters guarding every shrine and holy relic in the Imperium.

Sorry to disagree, but if Marines can have a million plus suits with active control etc (the most expensive and highest tech version), I don't think it's that inconceivable for the Sororitas to have 10s of times that number of reactive control suits (almost certainly cheaper and lower tech), especially as they would effectively be funded through the church collection plate, and the Ecclesiarchy is, if not the most powerful organisation in the Imperium, in the top 3 of that list (with the Administratum and the Inquisition).

Sisters don't need to be biologically compatible with geneseed either, so there's potentially many times more recruits for them than marines. Plus there's probably a "send your first born son to the military and your first born daughter to the nunnery" philosophy prevalent in the noble families in the Imperium, as a way of showing your families subservience to the ruling body.

Besides which, GW's figures for forces tend to be on the low side - anyone else remember there being less Imperial forces on the whole of Armageddon for the worldwide campaign than there were US forces committed to the ETO in WW2 ;)?

Kettu
01-10-2009, 15:38
@Lexington;
The 3rd ed Witch hunters codex changed that though no numbers are mentioned it is said that they guard all the Ecclesiarchy temples, churches and shrines.
Even if there is only one church for every second world and there is only say, ten girls kept as a symbolic guard there is still a good five or so million.

The dex goes on to mention that each shrine ‘…a significant force of battle sisters will be present…’ and then there is the entire problem in that they work part time as guards on the Black Ships. (I assume to supplement the Sisters of Silence whom are the 'normal' guards.) And that they are also present to defend pilgrimage routes through space.

Now five million is starting to sound far too small also.

Condottiere
01-10-2009, 17:02
That's not counting honour guards, battle groups and Blackship custodians.

Argastes
01-10-2009, 17:23
The 3rd ed Witch hunters codex changed that though no numbers are mentioned it is said that they guard all the Ecclesiarchy temples, churches and shrines.
Even if there is only one church for every second world and there is only say, ten girls kept as a symbolic guard there is still a good five or so million.

There are actually multiple shrines on each Imperial world (one shrine per parish, and a single world can have anywhere from a handful of parishes to thousands or tens of thousands), so I'd actually guess a minimum SOB force strength in the hundreds of millions.

IceFire
01-10-2009, 22:20
I think some definition of "Sister of Battle" is needed.

Arnt "Sisters of Battle" generally refering to the militant arm of the Adepta Sororitas?(although I think both names are used for both, leading to confusion.)

So then the Adepta Sororitas are Nuns, and the SoB are taken from their ranks to be used by the Inquisition? (And if the big =I= cant find a few thousand suits of power armour who can? :p )

I could use some help on this since I dont have a WH Codex, but if the above is true then there could be litterally millions of Nuns, practicing with training-weapons and training-armour, then should the need arise the very best are chosen and kitted out by the Inquisition.

Anyone think this is plausible?

Imperialis_Dominatus
01-10-2009, 22:28
There's actually only around 21,000 to 25,000 Sisters of Battle, according to the only source that's addressed the issue - the 2nd Edition Codex: Sisters of Battle.

Got that.


Which makes sense, really, when one thinks about it. Given the rarity and expense of power armor, it doesn't seem particularly possible for there to be a small army of Sisters guarding every shrine and holy relic in the Imperium.

Except it doesn't make sense considering the scope of the duties they have. Consider that:


On a day-to-day basis, the duties of the Orders Militant are many and varied, quite aside from their role as the Chamber Militant of the Ordo Hereticus. Every major world in the Imperium belongs to one of the Cardinal Dioceses, and will therefore host at least one Ecclesiarchal cathedral... such a concentration of the Ecclesiarchy's power must be defended... the sisters... guarding holy sites, escorting hierarchs, ensuring that the common citizen is suitably deferential... and that the coffers are filled at collection time.

The Imperium is criss-crossed by a complex network of pilgrim routes, and the Sisters are responsible for maintaining the safety of those that travel upon them...

When the Ecclesiarchy declares a War of Faith... it is the exclusively female Adepta Sororitas that provide its fighting forces...

The duties excercised by the Adepta Sororitas make them the ideal Chamber Militant for the Ordo Hereticus... the Sisters find themselves in the service of the Inquisition, performing purity sweeps through Imperial organizations, persecuting apostate clerics, challenging renegade Space Marine Chapters, guarding the most dangerous of the Ordo's prisoners and acting as wardens on the infamous Black Ships. These and a thousand other duties are entrusted to these most holy servants of the Emperor.

Recap. The Sisters of Battle:

1. Guard cathedrals and holy sites on every major world.
2. Maintain pilgrim routes.
3. Are the bulk of forces used in Wars of Faith.
4. Ward the Black Ships.
5. Give other Imperial organizations purity checks (turn your head, cough, burn in the name of the Emperor).
6. Run errands for Witch Hunter Inquisitors.

And do this across an Imperium of a million worlds stretched thin across nearly the breadth of the galaxy.

And you think a force of a few tens of thousands can truly accomplish this?

It just doesn't make sense, and I, like Sai Lauren:


Besides which, GW's figures for forces tend to be on the low side - anyone else remember there being less Imperial forces on the whole of Armageddon for the worldwide campaign than there were US forces committed to the ETO in WW2 ;)?

Adhere to the principle that 'GW's Numbers Just Plain Suck.'

Lexington
02-10-2009, 00:30
And you think a force of a few tens of thousands can truly accomplish this?
Of course not, and that's the problem - the Witch Hunter's Codex gave them far too much to do for an organization that must, by necessity, be small. To actually fufill those sorts of tasks would take an organization of millions, perhaps even tens of millions. Leaving aside the fact that there's simply no way for the Imperium to produce that much power armor (they're hard-pressed enough to armor the Space Marines, who never seem to have enough Mk7 to go around anymore), the Ecclesiarchy has been specifically forbidden from wielding that sort of military power. The whole origin of the Sisters of Battle rests upon the idea that they're a small work-around of that decree. It'd ridiculous to think that the Ecclesiarchy would have a force of elite combat troops that outnumbers the Space Marines many times over.

How does one reconcile all of this? Well, personally, I adhere to the principle that 'The Witch Hunters Codex Just Plain Sucks.' ;)

Argastes
02-10-2009, 00:46
Leaving aside the fact that there's simply no way for the Imperium to produce that much power armor (they're hard-pressed enough to armor the Space Marines, who never seem to have enough Mk7 to go around anymore),

This assumes, wrongly, that SOB power armor must be equal in terms of technological sophistication to SM power armor because it provides the same in-game save and has the same generic name. There is no reason for this to be the case.

Realistically, the Imperium should have no problem mass-producing the sort of power armor used by the SOB. It's just a thicker suit of carapace armor bolted on over a power-assisted orthotic exoskeleton. There's no components there that the Imperium couldn't easily produce in large quantities. The armor elements are easy, the motive elements ("servos") are essentially the same technology that's used in bionic hands/limbs, the power supply issue is no problem to a civilization that can make man-portable batteries capable of powering antitank lasers, and the motor control system can be handled in several different ways without a Black Carapace implant (just look at the control systems that are being developed for real-life powered exoskeletons).


the Ecclesiarchy has been specifically forbidden from wielding that sort of military power. The whole origin of the Sisters of Battle rests upon the idea that they're a small work-around of that decree.

"Small" and "that sort of military power" are relative. Even if there are 100 million SOBs in the galaxy, their numbers are still small--in fact, miniscule--compared to the regular Imperial military. There would be no problem with the Ecclesiarchy wielding "that sort" of military power, because it would be insignificant next to that of the IG. The limit on the Ecclesiarchy's military power exists to prevent the Ecclesiarchy from gaining undue political influence via that power, and thus has to be understood in relation to the military forces that it's not supposed to be able to rival.

Why is it absurd for Ecclesiarchy forces to outnumber the Marines many times over? We already know that Marines are incredibly few in numbers compared to other Imperial military forces. A big deal is often made out of how there is less than one Marine for every Imperial planet. The significance of the Marines comes from their special operational capabilities (capabilities that not even the SOBs have, despite also wearing power armor), not from their numbers. I don't see a problem with the SOBs outnumbering Marines anymore than I see a problem with the IG or the Arbites outnumbering Marines.

Lexington
02-10-2009, 02:48
Huh. Y'know what, Argastes? You make a damn fine set of points there. Objections withdrawn. Well-done, sir.

Mr_Rose
02-10-2009, 08:39
Also, where does it say the Imperium struggles to make enough Power Armour for the Marines?
For one thing, most Marine Armour is built in the Chapter Forge then modified to suit its current wearer and they don't appear to have a supply problem, at least not for power armour - Tactical Dreadnought Armour is the one they have problems with...
Some marines use older marks, true, but everywhere I see that, it's referred to as a sort of inheritance of continuity; your suit of armour, which you ostensibly worship on some level, has a history stretching back hundreds or thousands of years, even if each and every component has been replaced separately a dozen times or more.

NightrawenII
02-10-2009, 11:03
Says who? Sources please.
Explantion:

For a single convent/priory, maybe as few as 20-30, with an upper limit of a couple of hundred.

However, there could potentially be multiple convents on a single continental land mass on one planet, let alone planets in one sector. Add in that they also act as guards for cathedrals etc (plus maybe security for hospitals run by the Orders Hospitalier, and possibly even for some of the official holdings of the Ordo Hereticus), and there could potentially be thousands on a single world.

I'd reckon 10s of millions scattered across the Imperium, with no one having real direct command over all of them at any one time.
and this:

@Lexington;
The 3rd ed Witch hunters codex changed that though no numbers are mentioned it is said that they guard all the Ecclesiarchy temples, churches and shrines.
Even if there is only one church for every second world and there is only say, ten girls kept as a symbolic guard there is still a good five or so million.

The dex goes on to mention that each shrine ‘…a significant force of battle sisters will be present…’ and then there is the entire problem in that they work part time as guards on the Black Ships. (I assume to supplement the Sisters of Silence whom are the 'normal' guards.) And that they are also present to defend pilgrimage routes through space.

Now five million is starting to sound far too small also.
Because Im lazy.:D

Imperialis_Dominatus
02-10-2009, 11:29
Huh. Y'know what, Argastes? You make a damn fine set of points there. Objections withdrawn. Well-done, sir.

What... what are you doing? What is this... infection of-of-of... reasonableness that has infected Warseer lately? Whatever will I *headdesk* to now? You're depriving me...! :cries:

Oh hey, in some other thread someone's denying the existence of the Primarchs. Nevermind, I've got something to rage at, see you all later. :)