PDA

View Full Version : Number of worlds conquered during the Great Crusade?



malika
09-12-2010, 09:39
Ok, this is something that has been bugging me for a while in the Horus Heresy novels. If today's Imperium consists of a million worlds, and the pre-Heresy Imperium had two million as some imply, why are the planet names in the novels so "low"? With this I mean the following. For example Horus' Expedition Fleet was the 63rd, if I recall correctly the amount of worlds they brought into compliance was the highest, but in the novels leading right to the Heresy they seem to be stuck at world no. 19. What's up with that?

Wouldn't it be more fitting to have planets such as Sixty-Three-Twelve-Thousand-Twenty-Five (63-12025) for example?

Nazguire
09-12-2010, 09:48
Ok, this is something that has been bugging me for a while in the Horus Heresy novels. If today's Imperium consists of a million worlds, and the pre-Heresy Imperium had two million as some imply, why are the planet names in the novels so "low"? With this I mean the following. For example Horus' Expedition Fleet was the 63rd, if I recall correctly the amount of worlds they brought into compliance was the highest, but in the novels leading right to the Heresy they seem to be stuck at world no. 19. What's up with that?

Wouldn't it be more fitting to have planets such as Sixty-Three-Twelve-Thousand-Twenty-Five (63-12025) for example?

Perhaps the original fleet he was in was refitted and divided up as it grew larger with reinforcements, or as the Legion grew bigger. Makes sense that this would happen.

Whitehorn
09-12-2010, 09:56
To quote Lexicanum (taken from horus Rising):

In the 203rd year of the Great Crusade, War Council logs indicated that there were:

4,287 expedition fleets engaged in active exploration
372 expedition fleets engaged in refit and repair
60,000 (approx.) detached compliance groups involved in occupation and colonisation

1 000 000 / 64 287 = 15.6 worlds each, as an average.

Not too far fetched, if Horus took on 19 through war. Colonisation is a lot easier ;)

malika
09-12-2010, 10:01
But the number of the world is not determined by war, at least if we have to believe the novel Fulgrim on it. The Emperor's Children encounter several unpopulated worlds and assimilate them into the Imperium, these worlds are numbers just like the other ones.

As for the Detached Compliance Groups, I don't know if they did the actual conquering of worlds. I imagined they would be sent in afterwards so that the Expedition Fleets can continue to their next destination.

Whitehorn
09-12-2010, 10:09
Indeed, but as shown, there's over 4,000 expedition fleets. 18 legions worth of novels aren't going to cover that, so we have to consider Horus maybe didn't conquer the most, or colonisation groups covered a lot more.

Other things to consider are cluster empires that simply bend knee to Imperial rule. An entire solar system (or several), such as the squats! However, there's equally such groups who fought Imperial rule - Interex.

Also to consider is what is the definition or a world? A moon with a laboratory? In a universe of hyperbole, I'm sure they'd even call Pluto an imperial world ;)

Alongside the conquered/colonised worlds would be the forge worlds of the Mechanicum. They sent out hundreds of fleets after the Age of Strife.

Col. Tartleton
09-12-2010, 10:43
Maybe it was his 19th since Warmasterhood? Or does that not work. Maybe he wasn't counting from the beginning of the Crusade for some other reason.

Or perhaps it's an attempt at realism... no, that's crazy.

Kind of makes you think though, he would have a ten year per planet ratio roughly. That's some Vietnam Afghan war occupational hazard stuff, not Germany sweeping across Europe magnified by spaceships and drop pods...

Horus should be dropping a planet monthly. :D

Crazy Ivan
09-12-2010, 10:50
But space is HUGE, and they had no maps or GPS (Galactic Positioning System, a.k.a. the Astronomican) that told them "For the next. Inhabitable planet. Turn. Left. In. Three. Light Years."

So they could conquer a planet in a month and then spend the remainder of each ten years searching for the next one...

MagosHereticus
09-12-2010, 10:55
maybe it was the 19th actual world that needed to be conquered

worlds which are unpopulated or populated by stone age or feudal societies, or small population worlds without large governments or unmilitarised worlds in general would have been easily cowed by armoured giants in massive ships demanding supplication and if they werent then orbital bombardment would have quickly ensured submission

few worlds would likely have been able to stand against an expedition fleet, with the exception of macragge, i dont think any of the primarch homeworlds could have fought against the emperors armies (oh and possible alpharius's planet, if we knew which one it was)

Lupe
09-12-2010, 11:30
Well, most of the above points are valid, of course.

I'll add another one to the discussion:

You don't see worlds like Fenris, Colchis or Olympia associated with numbers, like that. So this naming convention might actually apply only to worlds that didn't figure in the archives of Mars from the Age of Technology. Which means worlds that:

- were never settled (such as Murder and most xeno worlds)
- were settled in the Age of Technology but were either too unimportant to mention in records, or whose records were lost (like the false Terra, I assume)
- worlds that were settled during the Age of Strife, in pockets of calm within the warp storms

malika
09-12-2010, 12:15
Indeed, but as shown, there's over 4,000 expedition fleets. 18 legions worth of novels aren't going to cover that, so we have to consider Horus maybe didn't conquer the most, or colonisation groups covered a lot more.
Note that not all Expedition Fleets contained entire Legions, the Legions were also split up over Expedition Fleets. Horus and his Legion were noted for having conquered the most worlds, with the Ultramarines taking second place.


Alongside the conquered/colonised worlds would be the forge worlds of the Mechanicum. They sent out hundreds of fleets after the Age of Strife.
Good point, however the Mechanicum is no part of the Imperium, it is an allied state. Their colonisation/expansion should be seen as separate from the Great Crusade.


Or perhaps it's an attempt at realism... no, that's crazy.
Nah, GW always seems to have a problem with numbers, either making them way too big or way too small...


worlds which are unpopulated or populated by stone age or feudal societies, or small population worlds without large governments or unmilitarised worlds in general would have been easily cowed by armoured giants in massive ships demanding supplication and if they werent then orbital bombardment would have quickly ensured submission
True, but in Fulgrim these worlds were given numbers as well...


You don't see worlds like Fenris, Colchis or Olympia associated with numbers, like that. So this naming convention might actually apply only to worlds that didn't figure in the archives of Mars from the Age of Technology. Which means worlds that:
These worlds we made up before GW decided to use a number system for Imperial worlds. It might be very possible that these worlds were given numbers as well. I imagine that the Emperor grabbed an Expedition Fleet and moved to the world which had one of his lost sons, the world would then be assimilated into the Imperium and given a number connected to that Expedition Fleet.

Lord Asgul
09-12-2010, 12:59
My Own Personal Theory: The False Terra in Horus Rising became known as Nova Terra.

malika
09-12-2010, 13:07
Sorry but erm...Terra Nova?

The Judge
09-12-2010, 13:21
Nova Terra has some background in the latest 40K rulebook

malika
09-12-2010, 13:58
Okay...but what does it have to do with the Great Crusade?

Iuris
09-12-2010, 14:04
Numbers certainly are low. Like ALL 40k numbers, really. Possible "retroactive explanations":
-additional crusade fleets
-marines not being present in all fleets
-worlds found that only needed contact reestablished, without needing to conquer them

But in the end, we all know that it's just that someone forgot to do the maths. Just like with planetary conquest troop numbers in 40th millenium...

Bunnahabhain
09-12-2010, 14:15
Either:
GW didn't do the maths- 10/1 odds on

or

The numbers only count those worlds putting up significant resistance- It would seem odd to refer to a freshly colonised planet, or one opening you with open arms as brought to compliance. 3/1

Lars Porsenna
09-12-2010, 16:47
-marines not being present in all fleets


Wasn't this established in the novel Legion? Wasn't the EF in that book made up entirely of Imperial Army, with the Alphas coming along later?

Also, while the figures above suggest there are 4259 expidition fleets, does this figure include fleets that have been retired/reflagged, etc? For all we know is that there could be expedition fleets numbering up to 10,000, but some of those fleets have been deactivated/ships reassigned/destroyed in battle. Also you wouldn't want to reuse numbers, so you can keep track of what specific worlds were incorporated by what specific fleets...

Damon.

Ka Faraq Gatri
09-12-2010, 16:55
Wasn't this established in the novel Legion? Wasn't the EF in that book made up entirely of Imperial Army, with the Alphas coming along later?

Yes. More on this in Prospero Burns.

Stomer70
09-12-2010, 17:04
The 4k fleets out there had all sorts of people: IA, Space Marines, and Titans

When the fluff says that the Sons of Horus conquered the most worlds that means the Sons of Horus, not just Horus. The whole legion wasn't traipsing around with Horus so they also conquered many planets while Horus got his stately and very macho 19.

Also to the number of expeditions ( I forget the novel, but i know they mention interchange in 1k Sons): don't legions change out who they are with occasionally? Which is why some legions know others better than some, but they aren't "currently" fighting with that legion during the HH stories? Or am I just making stuff up?

shadowhawk2008
09-12-2010, 17:23
The 4k fleets out there had all sorts of people: IA, Space Marines, and Titans

When the fluff says that the Sons of Horus conquered the most worlds that means the Sons of Horus, not just Horus. The whole legion wasn't traipsing around with Horus so they also conquered many planets while Horus got his stately and very macho 19.

Also to the number of expeditions ( I forget the novel, but i know they mention interchange in 1k Sons): don't legions change out who they are with occasionally? Which is why some legions know others better than some, but they aren't "currently" fighting with that legion during the HH stories? Or am I just making stuff up?

Fulgrim and Alpharius are known to have fought under Horus' leadership along with their legions when they were first found and were 'groomed' under his watch.

Deadnight
09-12-2010, 17:31
Note that not all Expedition Fleets contained entire Legions, the Legions were also split up over Expedition Fleets. Horus and his Legion were noted for having conquered the most worlds, with the Ultramarines taking second place

Id put the Ultramarines in fourth. you know the short story "the lion and the wolf"? its the one that explains why the Space Wolves and Dark Angels aren't on the best of terms. It mentions how Russ was annoyed that he hadn't conquered the most worlds, only horus and lion'el johnson having surpassed him. WHich puts it at Lunar Wolves/Sons of Horus, Dark Angels, Space Wolves, Ultramarines, the rest of the gang. And apparently, a lot of the Lunar Wolves victories were co-credited to the Emperor's Children who were for a long time, too small to operate independently, and usually operated alongside the Lunar Wolves. THis is older fluff (not too old now!) but still, to my knowledge, some bit official. Im still a bit iffy on trusting black library novels when it comes to accuracy-will king's space wolf books left a sour taste in my mouth

MEcorp
09-12-2010, 19:58
It seems that a lot of legions claim to have the second most victories. My guess is that it's because each legion would claim slightly different things, for example the Ultramarines might claim the most 'unified worlds' while the Iron Warriors claim the most 'Empires subjugated' and the Wolves claim 'most world's conquered' etc. Each of these things is slightly different, but would all generally be considered 'victories', which means each legion would likely have some kind of claim at most or second most.

As for planetary naming conventions. It seems most likely, to me anyway, that as each expedition changes composition it would also change names. So a fleet might conquer 13 worlds but then two of its ships will leave for refitting and three battle-barges will show up and it will be called something else. This 'new' fleet goes on to conquer 10 worlds before the Marines are called away again and it is given yet another new name. Thus certain individuals or ships could be present at the conquest of numerous world's while their current fleet is only on it's third or something. This, combined with the scattered nature of the legions would allow for the Sons of Horus to have conquered the most worlds (or not see above) whilst having Horus's current expedition only be at world nineteen.

Not to mention that conventions and consistency are not really the Imperium's strongest points.

malika
09-12-2010, 20:14
I think MEcorp's answer (at least in my humble opinion) is the most satisfying one so far.

Whitehorn
10-12-2010, 10:08
Note that not all Expedition Fleets contained entire Legions, the Legions were also split up over Expedition Fleets.

Horus and his Legion were noted for having conquered the most worlds, with the Ultramarines taking second place.

Therefore, quoting a single expedition's 19th planet as 'the most' isn't right. If the Luna Wolves covered several expeditions, then they clearly took more than 19 overall.

malika
10-12-2010, 11:13
True true, but we don't know if the Luna Wolves were split up amongst the other fleets. The first three Horus Heresy novels seem to leave the impression as if Horus' Legion in its entirely was included into the 63rd Fleet. With the other Legions we have more info on them being split, the Word Bearers for example are known to have split up amongst the different fleets, the Ultramarines and White Scars have the same. The Dark Angels are suggested to be pretty much united, besides the split of those marines of Calidan and those with Johnson.

Lupe
10-12-2010, 14:08
They probably weren't. The spearhead for the assault on False Terra alone comprised of four companies, and they had to draw straws to decide who was given the honour. (Horus Rising) That means a lot of the legion was stationed with its Warmaster. Whatever forces were split off couldn't really be significant enough to count for Luna Wolves victories...

MEcorp
10-12-2010, 18:48
A current chapter has 10 companies and many legions pre-heresy included multiple chapters. Just because something like 8 companies are traveling with Horus doesn't mean their couldn't be more out there. And I think any number of Luna Wolves would be enough for it to count as a Luna Wolf victory. Hell, I'd be willing to speculate that those Luna Wolves wouldn't even have to touch the ground to count it as a victory for their Legion. Space Marines have pretty massive egos when it comes to conquering stuff and winning battles.

Son of Morkai
10-12-2010, 21:46
Seems to me that the legions went where they were needed. Several worlds stand out, like Murder, Istvaan (even though it was a trap), and... blurg. Others. I know there are others mentioned. I think. Maybe.

ANYWAY. MEcorp's explanation is obviously the primary reason the numbers are so low, but this could could also play a part, as the main fighting fleets were continuously reacting to the exploration of the other fleets. Why bother to send Fleet 63 to an ideal unpopulated paradise world when Fleet 8923 (which consists of a single man with a rowboat) could do the job? All he has to do is walk around, kick the tires, make sure it really is empty. Why waste the time of thousands of Astartes on that, let alone the Warmaster? While the fleets with a large legion presence would certainly bring those worlds into compliance when they stumbled upon them, they certainly wouldn't go out of their way when they were needed elsewhere.

Additionally, what if another fleet requested aid bringing a world into compliance? Would that world count towards the original fleet's total, or the assisting fleet? What if only elements of the Astartes responded - would they then be counted as part of their previous fleet or as part of the fleet they were assisting? I'm guessing credit would go to the original fleet, unless of course that fleet totally failed in epic fashion.

MEcorp
11-12-2010, 02:27
Actually that was exactly what I was trying to get at Son of Morkai. The legions and fleets were traveling all over the place, mixing and matching with what was available and what was necessary with everybody claiming the victory for their legion.

ErnieTheTermie
11-12-2010, 04:27
Id put the Ultramarines in fourth. you know the short story "the lion and the wolf"? its the one that explains why the Space Wolves and Dark Angels aren't on the best of terms. It mentions how Russ was annoyed that he hadn't conquered the most worlds, only horus and lion'el johnson having surpassed him. WHich puts it at Lunar Wolves/Sons of Horus, Dark Angels, Space Wolves, Ultramarines, the rest of the gang. And apparently, a lot of the Lunar Wolves victories were co-credited to the Emperor's Children who were for a long time, too small to operate independently, and usually operated alongside the Lunar Wolves. THis is older fluff (not too old now!) but still, to my knowledge, some bit official. Im still a bit iffy on trusting black library novels when it comes to accuracy-will king's space wolf books left a sour taste in my mouth

I think Horus Rising states that Rogal Dorn's martial record is second only to Horus', or something along those lines (I forget the exact text). I compared it to the number of planets conquered at the time I read it, though that may have been an erroneous assumption on my part.

Son of Morkai
11-12-2010, 15:57
Actually that was exactly what I was trying to get at Son of Morkai. The legions and fleets were traveling all over the place, mixing and matching with what was available and what was necessary with everybody claiming the victory for their legion.

I was trying to say something else and didn't quite get it across in my drunken slurring ramble of a post, I guess. Even without the fleet renumbering, there are other reasons why any of the main fleets would have a low count.

The legions has to fight for their victories - the worlds that would fold without any military action or intimidation would be left for other fleets to take. Fighting takes time, as does finding and traveling to the next warzone - which may be further away than the closest habitable planet. And then sitting around to make sure that the planet STAYS conquered. And occassionally buggering off to help someone else in some other fight. It wasn't like they could just start grabbing worlds like a fat man at an all you can eat buffet - they had to pick and choose which worlds received their attention. Of course, not all of the Primarchs would understand this, but hopefully for the good of the crusade, their own egos would bring about the same results as they went where they would find glory.

Along the same lines, the Iron Warriors would never ever have a shot at "most number of anythings" because they were purposefully thrown at worlds that would take years or decades to bring down.

So I wouldn't be too surprised if some of weaker fleets had a higher number of compliant worlds. All they have to do is go where the main fleets tell them, look around for a few days and give the all-clear to the colonization fleets. Assuming the colonization fleets weren't just sent in with a small military presence, which could then form the planet's pdf.

MEcorp
11-12-2010, 19:05
I think Horus Rising states that Rogal Dorn's martial record is second only to Horus', or something along those lines (I forget the exact text). I compared it to the number of planets conquered at the time I read it, though that may have been an erroneous assumption on my part.

Exactly what I was talking about in my first post. Martial Record could mean anything to the legions involved and so each would redefine it as necessary to make themselves appear the best.


Along the same lines, the Iron Warriors would never ever have a shot at "most number of anythings" because they were purposefully thrown at worlds that would take years or decades to bring down.

I think that gives them a good, or at least decent, shot at 'most fortified enemy world's taken' depending on how they choose to define 'fortified' ;).

Bunnahabhain
11-12-2010, 19:41
Additionally, what if another fleet requested aid bringing a world into compliance? Would that world count towards the original fleet's total, or the assisting fleet? What if only elements of the Astartes responded - would they then be counted as part of their previous fleet or as part of the fleet they were assisting? I'm guessing credit would go to the original fleet, unless of course that fleet totally failed in epic fashion.

Or there could be fighter pilot syndrome...

You've seen the scene in movies- squadron does something heroic/daring, fighters land, report their kills, and the commander replies along the lines of 'good show old chap, you're the fifth one to have shot down that Hun'

I could imagine marine egos being on the same scale as fighter pilots. And now your official expedition record are a complete mess.

Add in fleets renumbering as people get swapped about, and any numbers become meaningless....