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SolkaTruesilver
11-11-2010, 21:05
Hello everyone!

I wondered how many Space Marines exist in the Galaxy, and how many existed during the Great Crusade..

I mean, there is supposed to be a thousand chapters of a thousand marines each. I don't know how many of these chapters have been destroyed or turned traitor over the years..

Also, how many Chaos Space marines are there? they still count, AFAIK.

And how about the Lost Legions? How many of the original Legions still served the Empire until the Second Founding?

Lothlanathorian
11-11-2010, 21:11
They get replaced when they are destroyed or go rogue.

SolkaTruesilver
11-11-2010, 21:19
They get replaced when they are destroyed or go rogue.

All right. So the new Chapters gets founded as splinters of other Chapters. Do they share Geneseed, or the new Chapter receive parts of the original Geneseeds? How do they elect a new homeworld?

How many Legion went Heretic? How many SM/Legion?

MEcorp
11-11-2010, 21:29
9 legions turned in the HH, two may or may not have turned before that and may or may not still exist. The numbers of the legions have never been specified however it appears that many legions had companies which were similar in strength to current chapters with the number of companies varying from legion to legion.

Current Space marines numbers are equally difficult to speculate about. Although the C:SM says (or has said, can't remember which) that 1000*1000 marines currently exist, the size of the galaxy and the functionality of a chapter seem to make this unlikely (its been discussed to death in other forums and I don't want to bring it back up). Combine that with unknown strengths for GK and DW, an unknown number of marines doing other things (such as the Wolfblade from the Space Wolf novels) and the unknown numbers of traitors, renegades, etc. and you have a number between 1,000,000 and something much larger.

When a chapter goes traitor a new chapter is forged in its place. They will use whatever gene-seed mix is deemed best by the Ad-Mech and the High Lords. Homeworld choice is a good question and not one I've actually thought about before. I would guess it would be a world central to the region that needs defending with a sufficiently sized and sufficiently hardy population base to support the chapter.

rob1992
12-11-2010, 08:07
Both the Space Wolves and Black Templars have around 5,000 marines and there could well be others. Dawn of War heavily implies that there are at least 10,000 Blood Ravens, at least on my playthrough when everyone died every 25ft. The Iron Hands and any other less codified Chapter are likely to have more numbers.

The structure of PH Legions has never been confirmed. It's been discussed to death, but I would say that there were at least 2,000,000 and probably more.

shadowhawk2008
13-11-2010, 09:52
Both the Space Wolves and Black Templars have around 5,000 marines and there could well be others. Dawn of War heavily implies that there are at least 10,000 Blood Ravens, at least on my playthrough when everyone died every 25ft. The Iron Hands and any other less codified Chapter are likely to have more numbers.

The structure of PH Legions has never been confirmed. It's been discussed to death, but I would say that there were at least 2,000,000 and probably more.

Uhh what?

Space Wolves could have no more than 1200 marines or so under service. BT potentially have several thousand as I believe their codex mentions so. Blood Ravens have the standard organization at about 1000 marines. Don't base the number of marines in the chapter off the video game, that is a very insensible thing to do, even if you do it in jest.

There could not have been 2 million marines during the Great Crusade. The Word Bearers were one of the largest legions at about a hundred thousand marines. Others had much much fewer.

TheRedAngel
13-11-2010, 10:51
Yeah, Templars may have around 5000-6000 according to rumours - but no one really knows.
Space Wolves are much smaller - their second biggest company (Ragnars) has less then 200 marines and many of the others are around 100 Astartes or less.
So altogether 1200-1800.

Gimp
13-11-2010, 11:12
And some Chapters are smaller than others.

The Salamanders have a tough selection process so only have 7 Companies so thats rough 700+- Marines.

shadowhawk2008
13-11-2010, 12:39
And some Chapters are smaller than others.

The Salamanders have a tough selection process so only have 7 Companies so thats rough 700+- Marines.

It's not as much about a tough selection process but more that a lot of their gene-seed comes from supplies held on Terra which contributes to lower recruitment rates.

Also they have only 7 companies but each company is organized to hold 120 marines at full strength so you are looking at around ~850 marines and officers plus any other auxiliary marines/officers.

shadowhawk2008
13-11-2010, 12:40
Space Wolves are much smaller - their second biggest company (Ragnars) has less then 200 marines and many of the others are around 100 Astartes or less.
So altogether 1200-1800.

what's the source for this?

Idaan
13-11-2010, 12:52
We're not quite sure how many existed during the Crusade. Even the authors are conflicted about it: Graham McNeill's writing has Legions of 10-20.000, while Aaron Dembski-Bowden supports the Ultramarines having 250.000. And no, it can't be that these are just different Legions: the latter's Raven Guard alone loses more Marines on Isstvan than the former has Marines from all Legions even present.

Nazguire
13-11-2010, 13:03
For the Legions pre-Heresy, we have a basic idea of where most Legions were at numbers wise from the Heresy books and artwork books.

Thousand Sons: 9 companies of a 1000 Marines each= 9000

Iron Hands= 10,000. No other numbers to say otherwise.

Imperial Fists= Were a large Legion, garrisoning Phalanx and other ships quite easily in their massive Crusading fleet prior to Heresy. Recruited from Terra, Inwit, Necromunda and other worlds they liberated. Looking at in my estimation close to 50,000 as well.

Space Wolves= Rough 13-15000 Space Wolves, with the inclusion of the lost 13th Company. Still a small Legion due to their ridiculously tough and violent initation rituals and small population to draw from for recruits.

Emperor's Children= 10,000; smaller in size due to a gene-seed accident at their inception

Word Bearers= 100,000 Word Bearers. Second only to the Ultramarines. Probably due to their slow and methodical approach to conquering worlds, allowing a higher proportion of recruits than veterans dying. Wouldn't put it past them recruiting from the worlds they conquered so slowly either.

Sons of Horus= We know they had at least 21 companies of approximately 600 each. So by using just those numbers we have just over 12,000 Sons of Horus, though there are probably more companies not mentioned. Wouldn't see them as overtly large for a Legion, but not small either. Maybe 20,000-30,000 maximum.

World Eaters= Had high attrition rate, so logically would need a high recruitment base. Had many recruitment worlds according to their IA off the top of my head, due to Angron's homeworld being lost to records (not a place Angron would want to come back to I'd say) At most probably 20,000.

Death Guard= 7 companies consisting of much more Marines than average. Probably looking at 14,000 if there are about 2000 per Company. Keeps with the pre-determined chosen number theme they have too.

Salamanders= A long recruitment process, not overtly difficult, but long nonetheless. Don't seem to be a large legion, quality over quantity. Only 7 companies too. Possibly just over 10,000 again

Raven Guard= Just over 10,000.

White Scars= Similar in to the Space Wolves in terms of culture and recruitment. Can't be much more than 15,000.

Blood Angels= Apparently a very large Legion, but not to the extent of the Word Bearers or Ultramarines. Probably close to 100,000 but not any more. From the new Codex I believe.

Ultramarines= Artwork book says 200,000 at their peak. Due to their well-structured recruitment process from Ultramar's worlds.

Iron Warriors= Would need to be quite large in order to be able to do all that garrison work and siege construction work. Would say close to 50,000. Reason that the Legion have 'Grand Companies' ;)

Alpha Legion= Not very large at all, only having been founded a few decades before the Heresy. 10,000 at most.

Night Lords= ADB could clarify, but I'd say still a small Legion due to their recruitment pool. Probably 20,000 at most.

Dark Angels= We know from the Heresy books that they were a large Legion. Luther's new recruits at the time of Fallen Angels was 4500 alone, not including those based with him already. Probably 20,000-30,000.


Add all that together and you'll find far less than 1 million Space Marines.

shadowhawk2008
13-11-2010, 13:04
If I remember correctly then the M41 timeline page on warhammer wiki (not lexicanum) gives a number on how many chapters have been lost or turned to chaos or gone renegade or vanished or whatever. But take it with a grain of salt because a lot of the information in that timeline they show is conflicting with itself and sometimes inaccurate.

Idaan
13-11-2010, 13:27
Raven Guard= Just over 10,000.

As said, they lose 90.000 at Isstavan in "Raven's Flight". That is despite there being only 80.000 present from all Legions in "Galaxy in Flames".

Nazguire
13-11-2010, 13:31
As said, they lose 90.000 at Isstavan in "Raven's Flight". That is despite there being only 80.000 present from all Legions in "Galaxy in Flames".


This is annoying.

This directly contradicts The First Heretic which says that the Word Bearers were the second largest legion of 100,000 Marines. Which logically means that they can't be more than that number.

Makes no sense either since why would the Raven Guard be that large, when Corax promoted stealth and black ops tactics rather than brute force?

Stupid continuity and editing errors.

Col. Tartleton
13-11-2010, 14:45
There's no way the Legions averaged 10,000. It's got to be 100,000. But I doubt the full legions moved as Legions. They were probably broken into subdivisions once the crusade got into full swing.

You've got to look at how they got worn down. The Ultramarines had 23 chapters (which counting support means a lot more then 23,000 marines) after almost singlehandedly fighting the scouring and essentially holding the Imperium together. The Imperial Fists must have had like 10,000 after the devastating Siege of Terra because they basically dive into the iron cage and come out with about three chapters worth after being beaten up so badly Guilliman had to come and tell him to stop before he got himself killed for nothing besides his own guilt.

UM have to be around 250,000 marines even if they never assembled that sort of force in one place.

Word Bearers were about 100,000 from what we know. Death Guard strike me as either 70,000 presuming a ten thousand man company which is what it sounds like to me if its much larger then the regular 1,000 man companies. (Was two thousand based on anything?)

Blood Angels were probably about 100,000.

Pretty much everyone is going to be 50-100k with the exceptions of notably small legions and notably large ones.

Phoebus
14-11-2010, 12:01
Several sources now indicate that the Ultramarines numbered over 200,000 Astartes during their peak in the Great Crusade.

The Word Bearers, with roughly 100,000 Legions, were said to be the second largest.

Corax's estimate of 80,000 Astartes in the Raven Guard doesn't contradict the Word Bearers. A statement such as "his was one of the smallest Legions" would, however, given the presence of the Salamanders there, and the existence of the Thousand Sons (who numbered less than 10,000).

It should be noted that the series editors did not necessarily fail Graham McNeill and Aaron Dembski-Bowden (they'd know better, though). Fallen Angels indicates that the entirety of the fighting strength of the Sons of Horus, Death Guard, Emperor's Children, and World Eaters was not at Isstvan V. At least one Sons of Horus formation, for instance, is depicted as being elsewhere during the events of "Fallen Angels".

Beyond that, each of the four Traitor Legions above had not only culled a significant number of Loyalists (a third, I think, but I may just be remembering incorrectly); they also had suffered a great number of casualties doing so. This, too, needs to be reflected in the numbers McNeill offers in "Fulgrim".

With eighteen Legions running around at the height of the Crusade, there may have been as many as roughly 1.5 million Astartes running around (I used 250,000 for the Ultramarines, 100,000 for the Word Bearers, 9,000 for the Thousand Sons, an average of 80,000 for the fourteen "average" Legions, and only 25,000 for the Salamanders).

More than half that number remained Loyal at the onset of Isstvan V, but that balance was reduced greatly by the loss of the annihilation of the Raven Guard and Salamanders. The Heresy and the Scouring would see the Loyalist numbers further reduced. It's important to remember, though, that the Apocrypha of Scaros refers merely to known Chapters at the time of the Second Founding.

I don't know that we can come up with plausible numbers for the Space Wolves pre-Heresy. They recruited from a world that had limited avenues for providing them with reinforcements. They fought an incredibly hard campaign on Prospero, were in turn ambushed by the Alpha Legion, and then had to fight a grueling battle all the way back to Terra. Add to that their losses from the Scouring and the existing problem of recruiting from Fenris, and their numbers may have shrunk even more dramatically.

Their size today is anyone's guess. They are divided in so-called Great Companies, and I seriously doubt they are as small as a hundred to one hundred-twenty Astartes. You have to remember that just a Codex Battle Company will have as many as 100 battle brothers of the line, a Chaplain, an Apothecary, a Dreadnaught or two, and perhaps even a Command Squad to accompany their Captain. That's close to 109 warriors right there, and we haven't even addressed statements in the Codex: Space Marines, that refer to Battle Companies typically being augmented by elements from the Veterans and Reserves Companies. If even two such Squads reinforce the Battle Company at any given time, we've already gone beyond the cap many (most?) people are willing to give the Space Wolves.

I'd posit that the Space Wolves' twelve Great Companies probably each have more than two hundred (but less than three hundred) Astartes, including officers, Dreadnaughts, Scouts, the Blood Claws (of which they keep more than they ostensibly need, counting on their losses and aggression-driven attrition), etc.

Today, the theoretical strength of the Loyal Chapters might be as many as a million (give or take a couple hundred thousands) Astartes. This may be skewed by Chapters that are over-strength (Space Wolves, Black Templars) or under-strength (Salamanders, Flesh Tearers).

I'd posit it's the Chaos Legionnaires who are understrength now. Many (most?) of their Legions have shown an inability to recruit consistently, whether due to Gene-seed deterioration or a twisted mindset. Efforts undertaken by Honsou ("Dead Sky, Black Sun") seem to be the exception, not the rule. I'd say the Traitors might only be able to marshall a force a third of the size of the Loyalists'... perhaps not even that.

FabricatorGeneralMike
14-11-2010, 15:52
what's the source for this?

Codex SW, page 17, "The great company of Ragnar Blackmane is second only to Logan Grimnar's, boasting almost two hundred battle-hardened warriors...."


It says boasting, that sounds to me like they are larger then most Great Companys except for the Great Wolf's himself.

Even so lets take 200 marines as a average for the SW's. 200* 12= 2400 Sw's. Your Milliage May Very.

MagosHereticus
14-11-2010, 16:39
it was a terrible mistake for the authors to give specific figures for whole legions, the legion sum should be non-specific so that casualties in any one encounter dont create paradoxes such as the raven guard massacre paradox

FabricatorGeneralMike
14-11-2010, 16:48
it was a terrible mistake for the authors to give specific figures for whole legions, the legion sum should be non-specific so that casualties in any one encounter dont create paradoxes such as the raven guard massacre paradox

Hell ya, or just read the background before they write stuff. I'm look at you McNeill.

In the IA RG article I thought it said 30,000 marines killed? And of the three Legions (RG,Salies and IH) only 5 marines made it out of Isstivan V?

Phoebus
14-11-2010, 18:09
Codex SW, page 17, "The great company of Ragnar Blackmane is second only to Logan Grimnar's, boasting almost two hundred battle-hardened warriors...."


It says boasting, that sounds to me like they are larger then most Great Companys except for the Great Wolf's himself.

Even so lets take 200 marines as a average for the SW's. 200* 12= 2400 Sw's. Your Milliage May Very.
Thanks for that; it certainly shows my thoughts were wrong. Perhaps a Great Company ends up being basically a fancy word of describing the standard reinforced Battle Company, then. :)

IvanTih
14-11-2010, 20:47
I think that there are more than a million Marines since no one counts Chapter Masters,Captains,Librarians,Company Champions,Techmarines,Standard Bearers etc....

Stonerhino
14-11-2010, 22:01
Codex SW, page 17, "The great company of Ragnar Blackmane is second only to Logan Grimnar's, boasting almost two hundred battle-hardened warriors...."


It says boasting, that sounds to me like they are larger then most Great Companys except for the Great Wolf's himself.

Even so lets take 200 marines as a average for the SW's. 200* 12= 2400 Sw's. Your Milliage May Very.The problem with that quote is that "Boasting almost two hundred battle-hardened warriors" most likely does not include Blood Claws.

When you consider that the Space Wolves normaly sustain more causualties then normal Space marines. It is not to far fetched to consider that Ragnar's Great Co has at least half that number in Blood Claws. His Great Company leads most attacks and so naturaly sustains higher damage then other Great Companies and in more need of replacements.

Also, that number likely does not include Space Wolves that serve on the Company's ships, the Fang or other non-boots on the ground jobs.

So even with that quote we only have a very rough idea of the size of Ragnar's Co. Nothing near enough to say what an average sized great company is.

All we can really say is that given the limited data we have. The Space Wolves are probably 2-4 times the size of normal chapters at current levels. And no idea what their size would be at full fighting strength.

Belesarius
15-11-2010, 07:46
Especially considering that Blood Claws are the SW equivilent to scouts. Not exactly "Battle Hardened Battle Brothers" . I'd take that as a mix of 200 Grey Hunters, Long Fangs, Wolf Gaurd and Scouts.

Add that again in Blood Claws, IMO. 400 SW in Ragnars Company. Blood Claws used to be squads of up to 20 IIRC. I know I had a squad of 15 for my LRC, with a Wolf Lord with Lightning Claws.

Gorbad Ironclaw
15-11-2010, 08:44
Hell ya, or just read the background before they write stuff. I'm look at you McNeill.


No, GW should just stop giving numbers on anything as they are terrible at it. Not only are the inconsistent but they almost never make any sort of sense, almost all of them would need to be much, much higher than they are.

shadowhawk2008
15-11-2010, 13:16
Thanks for that; it certainly shows my thoughts were wrong. Perhaps a Great Company ends up being basically a fancy word of describing the standard reinforced Battle Company, then. :)

A standard reinforced company that is an entity on it's own.

Phoebus
15-11-2010, 18:40
That was my intent, yes.

madprophet
16-11-2010, 05:15
The 1000 chapters is an allegorical figure like the biblical millennium. A millennium is 1000 years but allegorically it means "forever" or "a really, really, really long time". A thousand chapters mean "a really big number" of chapters not literally "1000 and not 999, and not 1001"...

There are lots and lots and lots of Space Marine chapters - no one is 100% sure how many. Theoretically, a Space Marine Chapter is supposed to have 10 companies of 100 men plus a command staff of about 100 men. The Space Wolves never split into successor chapters and have 13 "Great Companies" of indeterminate size.

The various hues of Templars are fleet based chapters with multiple crusades of indeterminate size. About 3/4 of all known chapters of space marines are "Codex" chapters modeled on the Ultramarines but there are many others that are not and may have more than 1000 (or 1100) marines.

Even less is certain about the Chaos Legions, no one really knows how many marines from the original legions survived nor is it known how many chapters have turned to Chaos or how many individual marines have gone renegade.

This is, of course, intentional on GW's part. It leaves lots of room for gamers to create their own Space Marine chapters, Chaos warbands, Renegade Chapters, etc. You are never going to nail down an official census of the Space Marines.

Hell, if you go by their appearance on the tabletop, there are 6 Space Marines for every Imperial Guardsman (well, I exaggerate a little - the ratio has gotten closer to 3:1 in favor of the Marines since the Guard has gone 100% plastic but I will stick with my old school metal Valhallans, thank you very much!)

herohammer
16-11-2010, 06:18
When estimating SM numbers people have to remember that for every zomg giant mega chapter like the BT or SW there is a small to downright tiny chapter that is still kicking like the Lamenters who got killed by other smurfs, launched a suicidal penitent crusade at the 'nids, and then got eaten by some other bugs. The BA can't even find them apparently and they were down to 3 companies before the most recent tyranid feeding incident.

SolkaTruesilver
16-11-2010, 11:11
After arguing as much as that regarding the Loyalist Chapters, what about the Chaos Space Marines? How many of those are still left? Are they actively recruiting?

Phoebus
16-11-2010, 12:02
They do, yes.

Their number one problem is Gene-seed mutation/deterioration and finding suitable hosts. The Night Lords are exceptional in that their own genetic material is surprisingly stable. Given the limited amount of time they can spend outside of the Eye of Terror (or, more accurately, the amount of time they can spend undisturbed), though, their recruitment efforts are probably not ideal.

Honsou of the Iron Warriors found a different solution, as shown in "Dead Sky, Black Sun".
He uses feeds daemonic incubators the remains of Astartes (following the meat grinder treatment), and they in turn carry out a twisted gestation period that results in the birth of full-grown Astartes.

I'm sure each Legion/Warband has their own solution to the paradigm. Otherwise, judging by their typical tactics in many of the novels, they would surely all be dead by now! :D

AlphariusOmegon20
17-11-2010, 14:20
And some Chapters are smaller than others.

The Salamanders have a tough selection process so only have 7 Companies so thats rough 700+- Marines.


It's not as much about a tough selection process but more that a lot of their gene-seed comes from supplies held on Terra which contributes to lower recruitment rates.

Also they have only 7 companies but each company is organized to hold 120 marines at full strength so you are looking at around ~850 marines and officers plus any other auxiliary marines/officers.

Try again. It's still 1000+ total in the Chapter.

They have an overly large (around 120 at any given time) Scout company.

You're also prolly not counting the dreds or the armor section.

Leftenant Gashrog
17-11-2010, 21:02
They have an overly large (around 120 at any given time) Scout company.


Incorrect. The IA article stated that companies 1-6 were 120 men, but the Scout company (7th) was stated to be one of the smallest of any chapter: 60 men.

ODINM4
17-11-2010, 21:40
id have to say that the sw would have atleast half their numbers as blood claws imo around 1500 plus blood claw across all of the great companys then id double that number and thats 3000 plus battle brothers so you have around about 250 battle brothers per great company with about a hundred blood claws per company of course some great companys will have more and others will have less.

350 per great company thats my estimate. when theres only war you need lots of replacments

Stonerhino
17-11-2010, 21:59
I would guess that the numbers are more in the area of 250-300 per great company. But that's current levels. I would place their full strength much higher.

shadowhawk2008
20-11-2010, 10:19
Try again. It's still 1000+ total in the Chapter.

They have an overly large (around 120 at any given time) Scout company.

You're also prolly not counting the dreds or the armor section.

why would someone be counting the dreads or the armour? they do not figure in the standard fighting strength (infantry) of the chapter.

Hedgehobbit
21-11-2010, 13:20
I would guess that the numbers are more in the area of 250-300 per great company. But that's current levels. I would place their full strength much higher.
I've been playing in this goofy gameworld for almost 20 years now (more if you count Laserburn) but I've never bothered to read any Space Wolf fluff. I always assumed that Great Companies were equal in size to a normal chapter. 300 SWs per great company is pretty pathetic.

In an article in WD #126, Andy Chambers talks about Heresy era armies. Here's what he says:

"The chapters fighting the Heresy contain tens of thousands of Marines."

"At the time of the Heresy, a Marine chapter contains up to twenty regiments ..."

A regiment was equivalent to a modern SM chapter (aprox 10 companies). These numbers fit with the 23 Ultramarine 2nd founding chapters since each regiment was spun off as it's own chapters. It is, as others have mention, waaaaay to small a number.

Col. Tartleton
21-11-2010, 13:39
I agree that the "1,000" chapters should be read as the following: There are a large number of chapters, but thinly spread. There might be 10,000 chapters and that would still be ~10 marines per planet. Its like there aren't a million worlds in the Imperium. There are around a million worlds though.

The point is there are a lot of places where the fight rages on and never enough marines to save the day. It means that marines aren't a deus ex machina that delivers victory. If Astartes come to your aid that's as scary a prospect for you as your enemies. Yes, they're going to have to fight the Astartes, but you're up against odds so insurmountable even the Angels of the Lord may not be enough to carry the day. That's scary. Faith shaking scary. But luckily marines are so kick ass that they can at least keep that smoldering fire of hope alive in the hearts of man.

Hero adamite
21-11-2010, 15:09
According to the Space Wolf literature i would assume the SW had around 1000-1500 SW max at any time. They are quite active in terms of engagements and have a slow/difficult recruitment process. Example: in 'Space Wolf' when Ragnar's home village is attacked and destroyed two warriors out of a couple hundred are chosen. And they only recruit from one planet, Fenris. I doubt they would have that many Blood Claws at any one time. No more than 100 definitely and even 100 is pushing it i'd say.

Col. Tartleton
21-11-2010, 17:25
Though the average Fenrisian is already superhuman...

Lord Malorne
21-11-2010, 17:37
Every person on a recruit world is already pretty much already a super human :rolleyes:

No idea why so many people are obsessed with trying to fudge the Space Wolves numbers, they have 1.5k to 2k. Black Templars have the largest chapter to date, numbering upwards of 6k.

Hedgehobbit
21-11-2010, 19:39
No idea why so many people are obsessed with trying to fudge the Space Wolves numbers, they have 1.5k to 2k.
Because GW keeps making the point that the SWs didn't follow the Codex so they didn't seperate into multiple chapters after the Heresy. So they still should be as big as a pre-Heresy chapter/legion. But they aren't. It's not even close. So the fluff doesn't agree with the fluff.

Lord Malorne
21-11-2010, 20:18
Sure it does, they just didn't recoup losses from battle and do follow the codex to a lesser extent (chapter size) but blur the line and have a little over a chapters worth.

TheRedAngel
22-11-2010, 16:26
Because GW keeps making the point that the SWs didn't follow the Codex so they didn't seperate into multiple chapters after the Heresy. So they still should be as big as a pre-Heresy chapter/legion. But they aren't. It's not even close. So the fluff doesn't agree with the fluff.They should be as big as one of the smaller legions (IIRC ATS claims 10000 marines) after the battle of Prospero, after fighting their way back to Terra stopping everywhere on the way, after the great scouring and after being divided into two chapters.
I don't find it that hard to imagine they are somewhere in the 1500-2000 range.



PS Thanks for FBMike for answering the company size question in my stead

Bunnahabhain
22-11-2010, 17:16
Re M 41, as the m31 stuff seems to be well covered already...

How many exist? Not enough.

Going off established numbers for ship speeds and the size of the galaxy, even using the most favourable numbers, with ~1 million marines, they are either spread so thin, they're not combat effective ( ie split into 10 man squads), or they take far too long ( years, not months)to get there.

To fit the role GW have painted for them with the background, then they need to be at somewhere between 25 -100 million combat strength ( ie not including support, training, recruiting etc elements)

That would allow them to put combat effective forces ( in background terms, so a half battle company, with some support) into place at reasonable speed ( a few months)


In General GW are so bad with numbers, they shouldn't even try. They have not yet figured out planets are big, which makes space Very big!

Culgore
22-11-2010, 23:05
it was a terrible mistake for the authors to give specific figures for whole legions, the legion sum should be non-specific so that casualties in any one encounter dont create paradoxes such as the raven guard massacre paradox


Well maybe it is and maybe it isn't. Now what I am about to suggest is a stretch... What if we take the Horus Heresy novels as works of history.(I know this is dumb considering they are novels) Things we see in historical texts are often very untrue.

example 1- While I was studying the first writings (my seminar to finish up college or "university" as many on this site would call it)to come out of the "new world" battles between native people and European explorers were quite obviously exaggerated. There were accounts of natives "covering the battlefield" and only fifty or so explorers to defeat them.

example 2- Accounts of Thermopylae have legendary numerical differences in the forces. 300 Spartans vs 1,000,000 Persians. Now we have better "estimations" but will never truly know how many fought and died there.

So I guess my thinking is if you see a number over 1000 marines translate it to "a lot"

ODINM4
22-11-2010, 23:22
well i still think the SW have to be bigger than 1500 battle brothers for the whole chapter .

Ragnars great company in my 40k verse has 100 grey hunters 300 blood claws and about 30 wolfguard for Ragnar ,most of the grey hunters would be driving the transports/tanks .

Thats how i see it any way .the numbers for all chapters would have to be greater otherwise they would die out all the time

Lord_Crull
23-11-2010, 00:00
Because GW keeps making the point that the SWs didn't follow the Codex so they didn't seperate into multiple chapters after the Heresy. So they still should be as big as a pre-Heresy chapter/legion. But they aren't. It's not even close. So the fluff doesn't agree with the fluff.

Except they did split. It says so right in the Wolf Codex. They split into the Wolf Brothers off the original legion. It also notes that the Space Wolves where never a large legion.



Thats how i see it any way .the numbers for all chapters would have to be greater otherwise they would die out all the time

Why would they be dying all the time? Depending on what fluff you read Marines can be anywhere from extra-tough humans to nigh-immortal in their durability.

Col. Tartleton
23-11-2010, 00:15
Yeah the wolves were one of the smallest (and hard hitting) legions. They exhausted a ton of men in the Scouring and then after much threats of a dubious Ultramarine nature they split into two "chapters." Each one was probably only a few thousand strong. Don't forget there were only three Imperial Fist Chapters after the Iron cage. A Legion of tens of thousands was reduced to three (probably understrength) chapters. Wolves would have had similar numbers seeing as their legion was much smaller to begin with. If they take some hard losses fighting the civil war they end up pretty small pretty quick.

Not to mention that after the Wolf Brothers went "A Viking" on some nuns and school girls and got excommunicated the Imperium said "No thank you, one is enough, we're good with that." As such they now reproduce by budding "companies." Very hush hush under the table sort of affair.

As the Great Wolf would say 'A how you say "Losty dem in de warp" bork bork...'

Which is basically why I think there are millions and millions of marines. The number of "Lost in the Warp" companies that populate fan fiction...

Lord_Crull
23-11-2010, 00:24
Yeah the wolves were one of the smallest (and hard hitting) legions. They exhausted a ton of men in the Scouring and then after much threats of a dubious Ultramarine nature they split into two "chapters."

Actually I don't recall Guilliman doing anything with Russ, or threatening him at all.


Not to mention that after the Wolf Brothers went "A Viking" on some nuns and school girls and got excommunicated the Imperium said "No thank you, one is enough, we're good with that." As such they now reproduce by budding "companies." Very hush hush under the table sort of affair.


The reason why the Wolf Brothers disbanded is uknown, but speculated to be genetic disability.



Which is basically why I think there are millions and millions of marines. The number of "Lost in the Warp" companies that populate fan fiction...

Fanfiction does not equal what GW has actually written down. No matter how much of GW's fluff sounds like bad fanfiction at times.;)