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Waxfadge
07-07-2012, 10:30
Hey everyone, I just finished the outcast dead and there was one part of the book that really annoyed me. I was just wondering what everyone thought of it because going by all the background fluff I have read it should not have been possible but let me know what you think.

[ spoiler] When the 7 marines who are being held captive inside mountain prison with Kai the damaged astropath the captive thousand sons marine uses his powers to release the world eater Tagore. He then fights a fully armed and armoured custode while he has no armour or weapons other than his fists and he wins! He actually manages to rip the custodes spine out through his armour and his fused rib cage. Everything i have read always puts the custodes a step above astrates. I have read quotes somewhere where it claims a custode is to a space marine what a space marine is to a normal man yet this one was killed in a 1v1 fight with a world eater while he had power armor and a gaurdian spear at the start of the fight and the world eater had nothing. Surely this is as unlikely as a regular unarmed human taking on a fully armed space marine and winning? I get that world eaters have all sorts of chemical stimulants and things done to them to make them more aggressive but I still cant see how this would happen. Could this happen or was the author just looking for an easy way to make the story go the way he wanted?[ /spoiler]​

Sorry i dont know how to work the spoiler options on this site yet so the text is in black.

NixonAsADaemonPrince
07-07-2012, 10:50
Well in my opinion it's rubbish, as you say a Custode should never be that easily beaten, as I go along with the "The are to a marine what a marine is to a human". But I am a bit of a Custode fanboy ;)

theJ
07-07-2012, 11:19
Certainly possible... if the dice are on your side :p
X can never defeat Y is a bit of a false premise - it's all in the circumstances. Was the Custode taken by surprise? How and when did he lose his weapon? Was this an "average" Custodian versus an "average" World Eater, or are we talking about champions? Did either side have any kind of support? Did the Custode underestimate his opponent? Did the terrain restrict the use of the Guardian Spear?

Lots of things that could swing the fight in the favour of the World Eater. Without more info about the fight, I can't really tell...

All Cing Eye
07-07-2012, 12:25
Just one of the aspects of the book that make it the worst one in the whole HH series.

But in recent HH background the Custodes and the Astartes are not so different anymore in terms of skill, just different. Meaning battles between the two are going to be pretty equal.

However an unarmed Astates should have been killed easily by a fully armed Custodes.

trigger
07-07-2012, 12:46
The custodeds is old and had a wound that had prevented him from being on front line duty

But

In first heretic agral tal (i think) states after watching a custode that there is not a marine alive he knows that could beat a custoded 1 on 1 squad on squad would be a different matter

LordLucan
07-07-2012, 12:51
Why does this annoy you though? It is just a one off event, like when the Lucifer Black leader Dinas Chayne manages to hold his own against Ranko/Alpharius, or when the Garratine takes on an Astartes, or when Fulgrim and the God of War have a disagreement. An Avatar has beaten a greater daemon before in the fluff, but that doesn't mean a greater daemon will always be beaten by a Primarch. Sometimes ork warbosses are massively stronger than an Astartes, and the space marine still manages to beat the big green dude thanks to luck/skill/outside aid (take your pick).

Nothing is certain when it comes to a fight. Just because a combatant should win most of the time doesn't mean they will win all of the time; they only have to lose once and it's game over.

stormblade
07-07-2012, 12:55
Idiotic stuff like that happens in BL books all the time.

Still one of the best HH books though.

Scalebug
07-07-2012, 13:36
A) Needed for the plot.
B) The whole "Custodes are sooo superior to space marines" thing is way over-rated by some people.
C) What trigger said, Custodes taking a supposedly low-intensity job at the moment, warden at the super-jail, because he wasn't at prime condition. Also, the worldeater in question didn't have an easy fight, as some people seem to think.

Go read the book. It is not the best in the series, but it has its moments of cool things... (although, I don't understand how the whole time-line of event being severely skewed got past an editor?)


And, really, it is "idiotic"? The idiotic thing there is thinking that just because A has been described as stronger then B, A must beat B in every situation... I mean, really, think about it... how is writing any fictional story possible if that was how things worked?

stormblade
07-07-2012, 13:52
It's not A vs B it's one half naked guy punching through power armour and a ribcage after eveding a powerblade and ripping out a spine.
It's idiotic.

lovelessmerc
07-07-2012, 15:02
Yeah i never liked that scence either, I thought it was a good book on the whole though. But i will say this, if any one could of done it a World Eater was the right choice.

Waxfadge
07-07-2012, 16:46
The world eater was a veteran sergeant and the custode was not taken by surprise, he saw him get out of the cage and was fully ready for him. Also the world eater managed to get the gaurdian spear off the custode and snap it in two. The custode had an injury that left him with slightly slower reactions but given he was a custode his reactions should have been faster than an astrates anyway so i cant see that having much to do with it.

Fair enough if it was some special world eater like kharn and he was decked out in his power armour and gore child but a completely unarmed veteran sergaent against a fully armed custode is crazy. Also punching through power armour and fused ribs was something i thought you could only do with a power fist not a bare fist.

The whole scene seems like it was made by someone who knows nothing about the fluff at all. If 1 unarmed veteran sergaent can take out an armed custode why doesnt horus just send the world eaters legion to terra itself and bam job done.

Inquisitor Engel
07-07-2012, 16:52
Just one of the aspects of the book that make it the worst one in the whole HH series.

I take it you haven't read "Nemesis" or "Prospero Burns" then. :shifty:

Anything can and does happen in 40k, from the tabletop to the written page. It was necessary for the plot and so it happened, explanations for his reactions and age also abound, but at the end of the day, it was a plot-fight and so it happened. Daemons also exist in the real world only as long as the plot requires them to. Bolters only have enough ammo until the plot requires them not not.

40k is NOT hard science fiction and nor is the Black Library. Get over it and enjoy the story.

theJ
07-07-2012, 17:21
Okay... so it was a World Eaters Veteran Sergeant - one of the best of a legion wholly dedicated to close combat prowess, and the arguably least affected by lack of weapons(possible contenders being the Wolves)... facing off against a cripple :shifty:
The cripple having a weapon, while the gladiator did not is a good point. As is the cripple being a crippled super-superhuman.
Still, the World Eater winning is hardly unreasonable.

Punching through ceramite with your bare fist is just plain dumb though, I'll give you that :)

EDIT: On second thought, the least affected by lack of weapon would be the Thousand Sons, since those could still make due with their psychic powers.

TheDungen
07-07-2012, 18:28
if they know how to make even better soldiers why even bother making space marines? I hat eit when they do stuff like, hey you know those guys are good but these guys are even better. The bigger better stronger creep.

LordLucan
07-07-2012, 19:01
If 1 unarmed veteran sergaent can take out an armed custode why doesnt horus just send the world eaters legion to terra itself and bam job done.

Erm, Horus DOES send the World Eaters to Terra; the siege of Terra and everything. Turns out one on one duels are not a good way to determine a legion's effectiveness at siege warfare... ;)

theJ
08-07-2012, 11:55
if they know how to make even better soldiers why even bother making space marines? I hat eit when they do stuff like, hey you know those guys are good but these guys are even better. The bigger better stronger creep.

The Custodes have been "better" than Space Marines for ages, mate. They are produced in very limited numbers because they take far more time, effort and resources to produce than Space Marines do.
If you thought that Space Marines are the top-dog in the 40K universe... well... hate to disappoint you, but they've never been top-dog, and they never will be.

TheDungen
08-07-2012, 12:04
Well i've never heard of them before those trading card that dealt with the heresy. Of course its possible they showed up in RT or second i didn't start playing until third. And nah i never thought they were the 40k universe top dogs were always bad guys. That's why i don't like legio custodes and grey knights and stuff supposedly being so powerful. So one getting killed by a warp empowered space marine sounds like balance restored to me, now if we could just get some repeat business on that =P

oh and since a space marine is worth 10 soldiers (which is a long shot) are a custodes supposed to be worth 10 space marines? So they would supposedly win against a normal enemy if outnumbered a hundred to one?

stormblade
08-07-2012, 12:35
He was neither warp empowered nor strictly 'a bad guy'.

Also he later gets gutted and blasted by two mortals, so enjoy your balance restored.

Sheena Easton
08-07-2012, 13:37
Another reason why the bulk of the Heresy "books" should never have been written and the whole event left as a near mythological time of half truths and imagination.

Lupe
08-07-2012, 15:10
I don't get it. Why is it such a problem that a Custodes can be beaten by a Marine? We're talking about a sci-fi setting where pretty much none of the rules of reality apply, and yet, even reality has its moments where someone just defies all odds and comes out on top. Here's a quick mental exercise. Take any boxer you think can't be knocked out. Someone will eventually do just that. Usually someone who doesn't give a damn about the odds in the first place...

The part about punching through ceramite is somewhat daft, I'll grant you that. BUT, there are guys who can punch through concrete and bricks, with enough training. So if WH40K's scale of material toughness increases at about the same rate as the scale of improvements to the human body, ceramite should be on par with Astartes strength. That's of course, assuming all other factors (i.e time spent training for that, pain management, etc) remain roughly the same.

trigger
08-07-2012, 15:18
I agree with above but for a different reason
Marine beating custode is the least important thing wrong with that book.

Mr McNeil I think most of your work is awesome , but if I ever get to meet you again , I shall upset you again :) consider a right good telling off being stored for that day

TheDungen
08-07-2012, 15:55
I dont have a problem with a space marine getting whopped by a normal human. I have a problem with characters and troop types that are said to be unbeatable. Save for really powerful things like the demon primarchs or the c'tan.

Waxfadge
08-07-2012, 21:07
Erm, Horus DOES send the World Eaters to Terra; the siege of Terra and everything. Turns out one on one duels are not a good way to determine a legion's effectiveness at siege warfare... ;)

Yes i know they went to terra but i said Horus may as well have sent the world eaters legion to terra ITSELF (this being the key word in the statement) which he doesn't. The siege of terra involved more traitor legions than just the world eaters. Please read the post correctly.

I get its not that unbelievable that a custode would be killed by a marine in 1v1 combat its just that this marine has no weapons and is wearing a standard issue body glove while the custode is fully armed and armoured. That was the bit that got to me.

Also whoever called the custode in question a cripple was wrong, the book states the only thing wrong with him was a slightly slower reaction time however in the very same scene the custode is shown to be able to deflect las bolts with his guardian spear like some kind of jedi. If this is a custode with slightly slower reactions then fine but its still a lot faster than any marine as iv never heard of them being able to deflect shots at them.

KharnTheBetrayer01
09-07-2012, 15:39
Okay, this may be the WE anboy in me speaking, but is this as unreasonable as people are making it sound?

We have a veteran World Eater on one side. A marine in a chapter known for their gladiatorial-style combat, and this guy is a squad leader of sorts, so presumably an expert amongst experts of that style of warfare. So is logical that he's damn good at one-on-one fights. Gladitorial style fights at that, where rules are pushed aside for sheer aggression and street-fighting.

On the other side, we have an injured man using a polearm against an unmounted foe, which is rarely a good idea if their reaction times are even close.

Now, Physical attributes aside, we have one guy trained for this EXACT set of circumstances (Fighting with whatever you have to hand versus a better equipped foe and using their weapons against them), versus someone who is evidently far from the peak of his fitness.

Punching through ceremite and rib cage is..farfetched, sure, but not exactly the most extreme thing we've ever seen an astartes warrior do under duress, and World Eaters are in theory slightly stronger due to their inplants. Its not impossible, just unlikely.

Inquisitor Engel
09-07-2012, 17:58
One thing I haven't seen anyone mention: The Custodes was also hampered by the webbing he was hit with. He moved enough to make sure it didn't incapacitate him, but it still restrained him somewhat.

stormblade
09-07-2012, 18:05
Punching through ceremite and rib cage is..farfetched, sure, but not exactly the most extreme thing we've ever seen an astartes warrior do under duress, and World Eaters are in theory slightly stronger due to their inplants. Its not impossible, just unlikely.

but that is the crux of the issue, I don't care about astartes vs custodes nonesense. Custodian had advantages stacked on his side, even assuming he is an inferior fighter he should have won.

Chem-Dog
09-07-2012, 21:40
We have a veteran World Eater on one side. A marine in a chapter known for their gladiatorial-style combat

Are they though? Angron might be the big red angry Spartacus of M31, but I don't recall seeing it mentioned elsewhere (admittedly I'm only as far as having finished Know no Fear and think I'm a few Audios behind) that the WE's are "Gladiators", butchers definitely, but Gladiators?

stormblade
10-07-2012, 00:28
Well, they have fightning glatiatorial pits or something. Mentioned in Butcher's Nails.
That might be it.

Mikial
12-07-2012, 04:40
The custodeds is old and had a wound that had prevented him from being on front line duty

But

In first heretic agral tal (i think) states after watching a custode that there is not a marine alive he knows that could beat a custoded 1 on 1 squad on squad would be a different matter

In fact, when the WB do turn, the Custodes among them put up a tremendous fight and one Custades takes out two fully armed SM before being taken down. Based on that, the WE would probably not have been able to take the Custodes out, much less utterly destroy him like that. Still, for the sake of the plot we have to do the "suspension of disbelief" thing. ;)

FlashGordon
12-07-2012, 09:12
He was not armoured with real combat armour, it was traditionall and had no function IIRC.

Boreal
13-07-2012, 08:40
Hey everyone, I just finished the outcast dead and there was one part of the book that really annoyed me. I was just wondering what everyone thought of it because going by all the background fluff I have read it should not have been possible but let me know what you think.

This really bugged me as well, I thought the book as a whole was really good but this was naff. When we make armour we make it using our own weapons as a frame of reference, i.e. bullet proof vests are built to stop bullets that definitely hit harder than a human soldier. So in 30k surely a custodians armour is designed to stop bolt rounds/energy weapons which hit harder than a spacemarine. (Even a pyschotic, implant wearing, rage-fulled one). For that spacemarine to punch through (probably) the most heavily protected part of the armour just didn't track in my opinion (note there is no reference to the cutode himself here, just the armour, in my eyes the cutode has nothing to do with the force created by the punch of the world eater).

Messiah
13-07-2012, 11:24
Yes i know they went to terra but i said Horus may as well have sent the world eaters legion to terra ITSELF (this being the key word in the statement) which he doesn't. The siege of terra involved more traitor legions than just the world eaters. Please read the post correctly.

He does send them to Terra itself.

However, I believe what you are trying to say is that he should have "sent them to Terra by themselves" or "sent them alone to Terra", which is a different matter. I'm sorry if that feels like nitpicking, but it totally changes the sentence from meaning that they only go to Terra to that they go alone to Terra.

As for the original question, as has been stated before, the Custodes was in a bad shape and the Marine was at his peak, so that levels them out a bit. As far as punching through ceramite, marines have always been doing silly stuff like that. I've always found it silly, but it's nothing new.

aim
13-07-2012, 12:00
Aaaaah multiquote, how I love the....


Well in my opinion it's rubbish, as you say a Custode should never be that easily beaten, as I go along with the "The are to a marine what a marine is to a human". But I am a bit of a Custode fanboy ;)


if they know how to make even better soldiers why even bother making space marines? I hat eit when they do stuff like, hey you know those guys are good but these guys are even better. The bigger better stronger creep.


The Custodes have been "better" than Space Marines for ages, mate. They are produced in very limited numbers because they take far more time, effort and resources to produce than Space Marines do.
If you thought that Space Marines are the top-dog in the 40K universe... well... hate to disappoint you, but they've never been top-dog, and they never will be.

The feel I've been getting from their mentions in the recent fluff is that they are still better than marines, but not by anywhere near as much as being to a marine what marines are to man. A lto of their superiority seems to be mental too, they are headstrong, they have supreme confidence (standing up to Primarchs even though they would likely be killed easily in a fight for example) in themselves and belief that they are right. The seem less restricted mentally than space marines (possibly less/no indoctrination and in part due to their proximity to the Emperor perhaps), more resourceful and cunning (blood games). They seem to be trained primarily in holding their own in singles combat as opposed to focusing on squad unity and cohesion like marines. Things like that, I also get the feel that there is physically something superior aswell, we know they arent created like marines (no geneseed) and the emperor has chosen them as his force, I don't believe for a second he would do that if marines were superior.



The part about punching through ceramite is somewhat daft, I'll grant you that. BUT, there are guys who can punch through concrete and bricks, with enough training. So if WH40K's scale of material toughness increases at about the same rate as the scale of improvements to the human body, ceramite should be on par with Astartes strength. That's of course, assuming all other factors (i.e time spent training for that, pain management, etc) remain roughly the same.

I see where you are coming from, but unless its stated that this marine is the worldeater equivilent of a kung-fu master, it seems a bit unlikely that that is the case heh.


I take it you haven't read "Nemesis" or "Prospero Burns" then. :shifty:

Anything can and does happen in 40k, from the tabletop to the written page. It was necessary for the plot and so it happened, explanations for his reactions and age also abound, but at the end of the day, it was a plot-fight and so it happened. Daemons also exist in the real world only as long as the plot requires them to. Bolters only have enough ammo until the plot requires them not not.

40k is NOT hard science fiction and nor is the Black Library. Get over it and enjoy the story.

Engel rocking up with the common sense. I like it. I also agree that Nemesis is the worse heresy book I've read so far.... It may even be the worst book I have read... Full stop.


Sometimes ork warbosses are massively stronger than an Astartes, and the space marine still manages to beat the big green dude thanks to luck/skill/outside aid (take your pick).


And sometimes, the marine is SO BADASS, he has his arm torn off, then comes back to jump the warboss from behind and force feed it a grenade before it can kill his chapter master. That being said, the same marine also once disarmed an enemy by taking a sword to the chest and ripping it from his opponents hand when it got caught in his fused ribcage...

Johnnya10
13-07-2012, 12:35
As apparently invincible as Custodes are, we are talking about an old knackered one who was half covered in webbing and was also having to worry about the other Crusader Host prisoners getting loose, including a Thousand son Psyker who we know really worries him. On the other hand, you have a pumped up, ultra violent World Eater who has probably been doing five million press ups a day in his cell with nothing to lose and a few combat stimulants surging through his arteries. I don't get why it's so hard to believe. It's a one-on-one and not really a fair fight, even if Custodes are as super-hardcore as we've been told. Does it mean that 300 World Eaters could beat 300 Custodes? No. It doesn't. It's an isolated incident with extenuating circumstances that can't be applied to other potential incidents.

I loved the book and the day FW release some models for the Custodes, I am tempted to have a crack at doing some sort of pre-heresy Crusader Host force led by these super-super-humans.

Thornea
13-07-2012, 17:44
Should the WE be able to beat the Custode 1 on 1?? Probably due to points above.

Should the same WE (without armour) be able to punch straight through the custodes power armoured chest piece, without his arm crunching up to his elbow in a mangled mess, even with his enhanced bones and muscles??? Nope

Im not moaning about a marine killing a custodes as theres always a chance, but punching through the custodes armour was just plain stupid!

I actually had to back track and re-read that the marine was a WE and not Marneus Calgar lol

LordLucan
15-07-2012, 12:21
And sometimes, the marine is SO BADASS, he has his arm torn off, then comes back to jump the warboss from behind and force feed it a grenade before it can kill his chapter master. That being said, the same marine also once disarmed an enemy by taking a sword to the chest and ripping it from his opponents hand when it got caught in his fused ribcage...

Yes, sometimes they are sufficiently badass to do that. Are you agreeing or disagreeing with me?

Grimbad
15-07-2012, 17:57
It is appropriate and possible for anyone to kill anyone in 40k. The basic damage mechanic in the game has always been the to-wound system which means that individuals generally live unharmed until they suddenly are killed. Not a hit points countdown, just sudden, random death, and even multiple wounds are usually limited to two or three for man size individuals, with Instant Death floating around to deal with them. (And the Damage stat before that, when a single wounding heavy bolter hit might kill a Marine Captain) Game mechanics versus fluff, I know, but it's a pretty big part of what has made 40k so gritty to me. Being a better fighter doesn't make you win, just more likely to win.

The same thing only more is what makes Necromunda the experience that it is.

aim
16-07-2012, 22:21
Yes, sometimes they are sufficiently badass to do that. Are you agreeing or disagreeing with me?

I was agreeing with you haha. In fact I just gave 2 examples of Cortez being a supreme badass, even for a Space Marine.

pointyteeth
16-07-2012, 23:03
Can we count the webbing as slowing him down? I seem to remember reading that the webbing was dissolving before the world eater was released. Seems that stuff isn't meant to last long.

Grey Hunter 88
17-07-2012, 06:50
In all fairness to the book, I think that other than this and a few other scenes of over the top Space Marine heroism, this novel was amazing. In fact, I think it was entirely due to the lack of general Space Marine-ism that it was so interesting. An astropath as a protagonist!? Absolutely refreshing.

Though there was absolutely no defense for this part of the story. It was the most embarrassingly ham-fisted attempt at tension in the whole book. First, the Custodes' team-mate gets liquidized by a guardsman in an instant. If his reaction times couldn't prepare him for the guardsman to turn and aim his gun, power up the coils of his plasma gun and discharge... then I am sorry. He does not belong in the Custodes. How is he expected to protect against an assassin if he can't even notice something so obvious?

Secondly, there's been a lot of defense for the world eater. I don't buy it for one heart-beat, and I didn't while reading the book. Case in point: the guardian spear incorporates a bolt pistol...
That fight should have lasted a whole 0.5 seconds. World eater says, "I am going to rip your spine out through your chest!"
Custode fires.
World eater explodes. Game, set, match.

Space marines cannot dodge point blank bullet fire. Definitely not semi-automatic, and certainly not while aimed and directed by a Custodian.

All the talk about gladiatorial combat, combat drugs and all that other stuff doesn't convince me otherwise for a second. He was a heaping mass of muscle pumped up on steroids. I can't fathom him bob and weaving his way around dodging bolt shells.

As for the whole punching through armour, the Custode definitely wasn't wearing power armour. I have no idea why, but for some reason he was wearing chain-mail with bronze plate over top. He was armoured little better than an ancient Greek hoplite, from what I remember. I don't know why he was going to meet the most dangerous criminals on Terra in an antique, but there it is. I remember wondering while reading, "Why is this fool wearing chain-mail? That armour wasn't even particularly effective for its time period!"
So at least it didn't reach any "punch through ceramite" levels of absurdity.

Though the talk about him being a 'cripple' is hyperbolic. It's like saying an olympic athlete who recovers from a bad injury is a cripple. Sure they might not be able to compete at the highest level, but they will probably still beat the high school track team.

Finally, on a tangent, I am definitely not a fan of what Aaron-Dembski Boden (to my knowledge he is the first) started in the First Heretic. For a group who are dedicated to protecting the Emperor, the Custodes are the most absolutely embarrassing counter-intelligence group in the galaxy.

In that novel they ignored the most blatantly telegraphed "WE ARE GOING TO TURN AGAINST YOU" signs.
They apparently are hot-headed, egotistical alpha-males who fight individually, but not as a unit. That is just plain dumb for a group that needs to work counter-insurgency, and act as bodyguards and defenders. I just find their portrayal embarrassing in the novels.
I don't want them to be a legion full of Calgars, but they just act so unintelligent, and incompetent. They barely put up a 'tremendous' fight. Heck, their leader gets beaten by the Word Bearer captain a few times in the dueling ring.

So... given all that we know from their portrayal in the novels, it really isn't surprising that a custode tasked with defending the most dangerous astarte criminals decides to wear bronze armour, get taken by surprise by a rather telegraphed betrayal, and then lose to a spandex wearing man who brought nothing but his balls of steel to a gunfight.

Just my two or three cents.

Messiah
17-07-2012, 11:09
As for the whole punching through armour, the Custode definitely wasn't wearing power armour. I have no idea why, but for some reason he was wearing chain-mail with bronze plate over top. He was armoured little better than an ancient Greek hoplite, from what I remember. I don't know why he was going to meet the most dangerous criminals on Terra in an antique, but there it is. I remember wondering while reading, "Why is this fool wearing chain-mail? That armour wasn't even particularly effective for its time period!"

Im sorry, but chainmail was amazingly effective at what it was made for: Stopping cuts. Sure it wont stop internal bleeding nor piercing weapons as effectively, but against cutting weapons, it is the best armour you can have, which is why it is still used by e.g. butchers (http://www.scobiesdirect.com/Products.asp?ProdCat=Chain+Mail+Gloves+%2FAprons). The number one cause of death in war-time was infection of open wounds and chainmail stopped that.

Apart from that, you made an excellent point.

Col. Tartleton
17-07-2012, 11:43
I think we're underestimating what "Chainmail" means in 40k. Power armor is frequently referred to simply as plate armor in the Horus Heresy books.

What they probably meant is that he was wearing a bronzed power armor with soft armor underneath.

145509

If not McNeil needs his published writing privileges revoked. :p

It's been stated repeatedly, that a Custodian to a Marine is like a Lion to a Wolf.

Can a Marine beat a Custodian? Yes.

The reason why the Custodes are better than the Marines is the same reason the Romans had a Praetorian Guard and Scholae or the same reason that Napoleon's Imperial Guard were crack if spoiled soldiers compared to the rest of his forces. Or why Hitler had his SS.

You --> Loyal Soldiers--> Soldiers --> Disloyal Soldiers --> Enemies

Emperor --> Custodes --> Imperial Fists --> Night Lords --> Orks

Grey Hunter 88
17-07-2012, 14:35
Im sorry, but chainmail was amazingly effective at what it was made for: Stopping cuts. Sure it wont stop internal bleeding nor piercing weapons as effectively, but against cutting weapons, it is the best armour you can have, which is why it is still used by e.g. butchers (http://www.scobiesdirect.com/Products.asp?ProdCat=Chain+Mail+Gloves+%2FAprons). The number one cause of death in war-time was infection of open wounds and chainmail stopped that.

Apart from that, you made an excellent point.

You're correct, obviously, and I had a feeling I would be challenged on that statement.

What I was getting at was with the profusion of piercing weaponry in medieval combat (pole-arms, lances, bows, spears etc.), chainmail was not nearly as protective alone as it was layered with plate and leather. It can most certainly turn aside most any blade, but unfortunately blades were not a common sight on the medieval battlefield.

Chain mail certainly had its purpose, but in the grim darkness of the far future... well, I don't fancy its chances against a bolter! ;-)

As for Col. Tartleton's idea, if he really did mean bronzed power armour, then the World Eater did punch right through it...
I remember it pretty distinctly making me believe it wasn't power armour, but I am open to being wrong.

I imagined the illustration of the Chaos Space Marine wearing the chain loin-cloth in the codex, with the tag-line "Extra protection afforded, negligible".

Lupe
17-07-2012, 14:45
I imagined the illustration of the Chaos Space Marine wearing the chain loin-cloth in the codex, with the tag-line "Extra protection afforded, negligible".

That particular piece probably does offer negligible extra protection. It's a piece of thin metal placed in a location where it will more often than not be flapping in the air every time the marine moves. And everything it covers is protected by thicker ceramite.

If chainmail were actually be worn in place of power armour, it would actually provide protection. if it were worn above or underneath power armour, it would actually provide somewhat more considerable protection.

Grey Hunter 88
17-07-2012, 14:55
That particular piece probably does offer negligible extra protection. It's a piece of thin metal placed in a location where it will more often than not be flapping in the air every time the marine moves. And everything it covers is protected by thicker ceramite.

If chainmail were actually be worn in place of power armour, it would actually provide protection. if it were worn above or underneath power armour, it would actually provide somewhat more considerable protection.

True, though despite that, I personally think the joke behind that image was not the placement of the chain-mail, but rather that anything able to get through the ceramite itself would not be affected by some iron or steel rings.

MvS
17-07-2012, 15:20
On a slight tangent, aren't there references in the new rulebook to just 300 Custodes? It wasn't clear to me at the time of reading whether this means that there are only 300 left in the 41st millennium (which raises questions about whether Custodes are made any more or whether they have slowly whittles down over the millennia), or whether there are just 300 hanging around the Emperor's throne room.


For a group who are dedicated to protecting the Emperor, the Custodes are the most absolutely embarrassing counter-intelligence group in the galaxy.

Well mostly they're personal bodyguards of the Emperor, not secret agents, and when absolutely necessary they also act as force multipliers and the eyes and ears of the Emperor in a distant conflict or region. They seem to do all of this reasonably well.

They aren't war-fighters (in the sense that they aren't truly soldiers - they are more like a large and highly organised band of individual champions), and although they deal with some counter-intelligence issues (much like the US Secret Service), they aren't wholly dedicated or specialised to that role. They deal mostly with direct threats to the Emperor's person, not the politics and strategies of grand insurrections. They clearly have a good grasp of these things, but I think the Primarchs and their confidantes eclipse them in this area.


In that novel they ignored the most blatantly telegraphed "WE ARE GOING TO TURN AGAINST YOU" signs.

They did? They were highly suspicious but couldn't prove anything. Everything they reported back to Terra was intercepted and altered by Lorgar's sorcery and they were kept on the very periphery of what the Word Bearers were up to precisely so they couldn't figure out what was going on. Even Argel Tal is annoyed at the end of the First Heretic at having been kept away from the Legion for so long, babysitting the Custodes.


They apparently are hot-headed, egotistical alpha-males who fight individually, but not as a unit. That is just plain dumb for a group that needs to work counter-insurgency, and act as bodyguards and defenders. I just find their portrayal embarrassing in the novels.

To be fair to Aaron's depiction, the Custodes are painted as being so preternaturally skilled in combat that this makes up for any slight shortfalls in their cohesion as a unit. I mean it isn't that they can't work together at all and simply bump into each other and ignore what's happening to other members of their units. It's just that experienced Marines, who are preternaturally skilled at fighting as a unit, could identify shortfalls in the Custodes unit-cohesion in comparison with their own training - just as, no doubt, the Custodes could identify shortfalls in any Marine's abilities fighting alone against multiple enemies in comparison with the Custodes' own training.

If you think about it, any individual Custodian would still be as deadly even if all his unit (or legion) were slain (because they are optimised to stand by and for themselves), whereas a Space Marine is optimised to fight within a unit so wouldn't fair quite as well as a Custodian in the same circumstances. Naturally both types of warrior would still be incredible when fighting as a unit or as an individual, but when placed alongside each other their differences become more telling.


they just act so unintelligent, and incompetent. They barely put up a 'tremendous' fight. Heck, their leader gets beaten by the Word Bearer captain a few times in the dueling ring.

But there are descriptions of single Custodians rampaging through spaceships massacring everyone in sight and not even being slowed by the amassed security forces arrayed against them (the equivalent of Navy armsmen, Guard, and even giant battle-robots that don't seem all that dissimilar to Dreadnoughts). Similarly, Argel Tal gets defeated every single time he practices with the Custodians, except for after he is possessed by a daemon (so possessing all his abilities but with the additional strength and speed of a daemon). That sounds about right to me. Even then the Custodes manage to take down some of the possessed Word Bearers at the end of the book, despite the fact they don't know what they are up against and have never fought against daemons before.

Granted the final battle in Outcast Dead is a bit odd, but then that's 40K for you. There are exceptions to every single rule, and even reversals of exceptions. It can get a bit frustrating but there it is...

sycopat
17-07-2012, 15:28
On a slight tangent, aren't there references in the new rulebook to just 300 Custodes? It wasn't clear to me at the time of reading whether this means that there are only 300 left in the 41st millennium (which raises questions about whether Custodes are made any more or whether they have slowly whittles down over the millennia), or whether there are just 300 hanging around the Emperor's throne room.



From how I read it, the emperors standing personal bodyguard(The Companions?) is 300 custodes. There are far more than 300 in total, but there are at least 300 in the throne room 24/7.

Grey Hunter 88
17-07-2012, 15:40
Sound points well argued MvS.

I am still not convinced that the Custodes are impressive though.

To begin with the idea of the Word Bearers telegraphing their betrayal, it was pretty clear that something was up the way they were acting in general. I don't remember specific examples of the little things, but when they sat in on that blood sacrifice ritual on Cadia...
Not catching onto that was pretty shockingly embarrassing. I confess that I can't even remember the flimsy excuse they used, but once daemon-worshiping blood sacrifice comes into play, the Custodes really have NO excuse for letting that one slide.

I also still think that them acting as Rambo makes little sense for a bodyguard or elite protector unit. Custodes have been said to be masters in assassination and counter-espionage to my knowledge, and a group of individually potent warriors who perform less cohesively than the rank and file of a poor Chapter, don't sound like the men for the job.

Men like them can be distracted, confused, bound up with personal glory, hot-headed and all of the above. ABSOLUTELY TERRIBLE when someone is putting on a co-ordinated show at killing your leader. They should function like the arbitrators. The second they even glimpse a sign of treachery, they fall into perfect ranks around the Emperor, not even moving their head from the assigned zones until the threat it clear.
Instead I just imagine some loonie throwing a pie and having 12 of the Custodes charge out after him whooping and hollering.

I realize that this has become exaggeration for humour at this point, but I don't see why a chapter like the Word Bearers, who are notably amongst the least martial (due to their other pursuits), should be able to notice flaws in the cohesion of an elite and important force like the Custodians.

They acted throughout that novel as auditors, nothing more. Poor auditors at that, who buy into the ridiculous claims and excuses of their employers.

It's just going to come down to personal opinion at the end of the day. It's what makes literature worth reading and discussing. Though what I think is pretty tough to argue against (and ostensibly the purpose for this thread) is that a half-naked world eater should not be able to beat a fully prepared Custode, with a gun and spear, at range.

Though if there are 300 Custodes now...

*Alicia Domenica is brought into the throne room during the Age of Apostasy*
Emprah: You must not follow this angry little man anymore! Vandire is anathema, and he must be purged.
Domenica: But my Emprah, what you speak is heresy! It is madness!
Custode: MADNESS!? THIS, IS, TERRA!!!!! *boot*

Notanoob
17-07-2012, 16:23
There are 300 Custodes that sit in the throne room protecting the Emperor are called the Companions. They're supposed to be the select elite and his personal bodyguards who never leave his side.

And may I remind everyone that in TFH and single Custodes comes very close to killing a Primarch and owns the captains surrounding him? I can't remember specifically, but I think he decapitates or kills something like 3 captains and almost kills Lorgar before he's critically injured and used as part of the sacrifice ceremony. Individually they're killing machines, used to duels and with outrageously quick reactions times and all that.

I'll have to read more about the specifics of the actual encounter, but it sounds sort of like a plot-assisted outcome.

MvS
17-07-2012, 16:28
Thanks for the response!


when they sat in on that blood sacrifice ritual on Cadia... Not catching onto that was pretty shockingly embarrassing. I confess that I can't even remember the flimsy excuse they used, but once daemon-worshiping blood sacrifice comes into play, the Custodes really have NO excuse for letting that one slide.

To be fair, the one Custodian who goes down with Lorgar and the others, Vendatha, tries to stop the ceremony, at gunpoint, and even declares Lorgar a traitor and tries to arrest or kill him. He's willing to face down a Primarch surrounded by that Primarch's chosen bodyguard. I don't think he expects to win, but he is acting in the stead of the Emperor so I think it's the principle. Oh and that Custodian is slaughtered and used as part of the ritual.

When they return to the flagship they tell the other Custodians that there was a massive fight with crazed heretics resulting in the deaths of the Custodian, a Word Bearer Chapter Master, Chaplain and trooper (all of whom Vendatha kills before getting it himself). They are unsure but they trust Argel Tal (and only Argel Tal) so they moderate their concerns, however they sill report it all back to Terra.


I also still think that them acting as Rambo makes little sense for a bodyguard or elite protector unit. Custodes have been said to be masters in assassination and counter-espionage to my knowledge, and a group of individually potent warriors who perform less cohesively than the rank and file of a poor Chapter, don't sound like the men for the job.

I think a little bit too much is being put on that one short scene from the First Heretic. The Word Bearers only just notices the difference between Astartes and Custodes fighting styles, having been able to observe the Custodians uninterrupted for a long while. It isn't a massively obvious thing. The Custodians aren't all running around like lone-wolf mavericks with bootlaces tied around their biceps and a torn-up rulebook to wipe their backsides with. They fight extremely well as a group - just not as extremely well as the Marines do. And it took highly experienced Marines to spot it, so it isn't really that obvious. Which means they still fight pretty damn well as a unit. In fact their fighting is described as being "almost identical to the Astartes" and the Word Bearers stare in amazement at the Custodians' skills, so they're still pretty impressive one way or another.


Men like them can be distracted, confused, bound up with personal glory, hot-headed and all of the above. ABSOLUTELY TERRIBLE when someone is putting on a co-ordinated show at killing your leader. They should function like the arbitrators. The second they even glimpse a sign of treachery, they fall into perfect ranks around the Emperor, not even moving their head from the assigned zones until the threat it clear

I agree that's how they should behave when protecting the Emperor, but then we only really have descriptions of them fighting when the Emperor isn't around. So they are cut loose and not bound to behave in a particular way. I mean it just strikes me as implausible that the hand-created and trained personal bodyguards of the Emperor himself would be hubristic macho-******.


Instead I just imagine some loonie throwing a pie and having 12 of the Custodes charge out after him whooping and hollering.

:D


I realize that this has become exaggeration for humour at this point, but I don't see why a chapter like the Word Bearers, who are notably amongst the least martial (due to their other pursuits), should be able to notice flaws in the cohesion of an elite and important force like the Custodians.

This is an important point that Aaron's spoken about on a few occasions. The Word Bearers were no less martial or successful as soldiers, as Astartes, than any other Marine of any other Chapter. It was their Primarch who was less martial. It was their Primarch who ordered them to spend months converting populations to Emperor worship. But just because the Word Bearers had other interests didn't mean they were less martial. In fact in many ways they were much like the Thousand Sons. They were all scholars as well as super-soldiers, but this fact didn't interfere with their abilities and inclinations as war-fighters

Also it's worth saying again that the 'flaw' of the Custodians was that they didn't fight exactly like the Astartes, who have brotherhood etched into their genes. This isn't the same thing as saying that the Custodians had no coherence as a disciplined fighting unit.


It's just going to come down to personal opinion at the end of the day. It's what makes literature worth reading and discussing.

Couldn't agree more and I bow to your wisdom on this point.


Though what I think is pretty tough to argue against (and ostensibly the purpose for this thread) is that a half-naked world eater should not be able to beat a fully prepared Custode, with a gun and spear, at range.

Yes, it wasn't handled brilliantly. It's funny to me that in the Blood Games short story (at least I think it was called Blood Games - it's the Abnett short about Custodians) we have an unarmed and unarmoured Custodian killing an Ogryn in a few heartbeats without breaking a sweat. Then we have an armed and armoured (sort of) Custodian getting beaten to death by an unarmed World Eater. Yes the Custodian is supposed to be old and injured, tangled in webbing and suchlike, but I suppose it just comes across oddly.

Even more, we have Babu, not even an Astartes and supposedly 'built to die', but there he was smacking around everyone like they were children. He comes across as much more powerful than the Astartes, although he lacks all the enhanced organs of the Emperor's finest I suppose.

BeatTheBeat
17-07-2012, 17:30
Though to be fair, Babu was a Thunder Warrior i.e proto-Astartes, which from what we can gather from TOD, especially from Babu talking about his past and also just from how he is described, seem to have been more powerful yet also more unstable than proper Astartes. So that one is not so weird, really.

Cheers,
BTB

MvS
17-07-2012, 17:40
Though to be fair, Babu was a Thunder Warrior i.e proto-Astartes, which from what we can gather from TOD, especially from Babu talking about his past and also just from how he is described, seem to have been more powerful yet also more unstable than proper Astartes.

True. The weirdness for me came from the fact that the Thunder warriors were unstable genetically (or whatever), but Babu still managed to survive for centuries. All while bemoaning that he was unstable and doomed to die. Seems to me that he lived a very long and successful life - more so than many Astsrtes. I mean what does he gain from the geneseed he steals? He may be able to grow extra organs to implant in himself, but then again the extra organs don't seem to be what he felt he was missing.

I just didn't get his beef really - other than the fact all the other Thunder Warriors seemed to have been killed off.