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taylor637
03-04-2013, 19:27
GW has not made the legions big enough.... This is a galaxy spanning crusade, if not every expedition had a legion contingent then a fair number did....

MarshalFaust
03-04-2013, 19:55
The expedition fleets were not comprised solely of Legiones Astartes. Millions upon millions of Imperial Army, Navy and Mechanicum forces were involved that took care of most of the grunt work while the legions go for the hammer strike or critical battles.

baphomael
03-04-2013, 23:13
Yea, the legions numbered into hundreds of thousands.... enough for strategic strikes on prime targets... but as noted expedition fleets had a lot of support from army and mechanicum.

Just as in 40k marines provide the speartip, human bodies provide the meat shield.

MarshalFaust
03-04-2013, 23:26
Having said that I do agree that legion numbers are a little small. I would be more comfortable with the smallest legions like Emperors Children and Thousand Sons numbering in the 200-250 thousand range while the normal sized legions sitting somewhere around 500-800 thousand. At least they are being a little more realistic with legion sizes than the modern (M41) chapter sizes. 1000 is pretty laughably small even for a super elite strike force. one bad engagement or lost ship would cause catastrophic casualties to a chapter that would take decades to rebuild. My own personal preference is to add a zero to the end of official chapter numbers and just pretend the proclaimed 1000 marines to be imperial propaganda.

taylor637
03-04-2013, 23:40
Right you have to think that galaxy is very very big.... 4300 expeditions.... It's not crazy to think that a chapter or even a few company's were with each expedition

taylor637
03-04-2013, 23:42
How many millions of soldiers fought against nazi germany. Now multiply that by 10000000

juke
04-04-2013, 00:45
The number of soldiers serving in World War 2 surpasses 100 million but even that is barely 4.5% of the world population. Today, the world has about 75 million soldiers if we count reserves and paramilitary forces. This is only 1% of the world's population. Personal opinions on militarization aside, that's not very high. In comparison, North Korea has 38.6% of their country in the armed forces. That's probably beyond even the Imperium but countries like South Korea, Cuba, Israel, Armenia or Taiwan that potentially could face invasion and thus maintain a large military have around 10% of their population serving. For comparison, the US has .73% of its population in the military. Once again, these numbers include reserve and paramilitary forces.

GW writers just have no sense of scale. Without out even thinking about how underpopulated hive planets are, Earth is tiny with 7 billion people. Arming 10% of that would mean 700 million soldiers (keep in mind this does include logistical support and non-frontline soldiers). That's twice the percentage of population serving in World War 2 but probably a reasonable number in a dangerous setting like the Imperium. Armies of this boggle the mind. How can you even imagine the number soldiers on a hive world? Looking at planetary invasions, think how many troops would be required to conqueror Earth. Now think about a hive world.

1000 space marines isn't enough, even if they are supported by millions of Imperial Army troops. Inter-galactic warfare on the scale of the Imperium would require billions if not trillions of soldiers. The logistics would be insane. The size of fleets would be insane. Even if space marines only engaged in strategic strikes on key installations, think about how many key installations exist here on Earth, how much redundancy all those have and how long we probably could keep fighting without a lot of them--and we're not even preparing for an invasion.

MajorWesJanson
04-04-2013, 04:23
Air/Orbital power is a great equalizer.

jareddm3
04-04-2013, 15:40
Indeed. If alien space ships suddenly targeted and blew up every space-viable missle site on the planet, it wouldn't matter how many troops you have. The ability to strike anywhere from orbit without retaliation means we've already lost.

Roowfc
04-04-2013, 22:22
These guys arnt storming whole worlds they are dropping on the rulers seat of goverment breaking it then the army moves in. Also remember whilst the hh books focus on worlds conquered most would acept peaciful admission tothe imperion

Horus38
05-04-2013, 15:07
Right you have to think that galaxy is very very big.... 4300 expeditions.... It's not crazy to think that a chapter or even a few company's were with each expedition

Even dividing a million space marines by 4,300 still puts 250ish marines in each expedition, and that's not accounting for vehicles/titans. That kind of force is still capable of pacifying planets and reclaiming worlds. Obviously there's going to be some expeditions with more of a concentration of marines then others.

Bonzai
05-04-2013, 22:19
I don't know... In Lord of Night, a single night lord was nearly enough to take down a hive city. 100,000 should take down a sector down no problem. :)

BeSSus
05-04-2013, 22:41
Have you even read any of the HH books? The Legions were the spearheads of the Crusade. Like said earlier, they either defeated a weak enemy themselves, or forced a planet into submission by removing its ruling body. Behind them, or with them, came a massive fleet of the IN, supported by a massive number of IG, supported by a massive number of AM, supported by a massive number of the Munitorum, supported by a massive number of whatever people were necessary to establish an Imperial government. Once these troops moved on with the Legion a similar fleet arrived, and another, and another as the Crusade drew on, forming a never ending chain. The Space Marines were instrumental in giving the first devastating blow before moving on.

Parallaxus
06-04-2013, 01:02
I have a follow up question to this question. It's the reason I came to this site in fact. I was wanting to know the numbers of what some of the forces of 40k were made up of. In a couple of important points in time if possible. Like, for instance, what was the estimated numbers of regular space marines (tactical marines), how many dreadnaughts, how many land raiders, predators, whirlwinds, terminators, etc made up, say the ultramarines just before the heresy and what is the make up of it as of the 41st millenium? I was curious what kinds of numbers AND what kinds of ratios of various vehicles and special units some of the forces had to their conventional, standard infantry. I had heard that the Emperor's Children and the Thousand Sons were particularly small legions prior to the HH and the 1000Sons were pounded in the battle of Prospero (which I think is silly btw, in my opinion the 1000 sons were so powerful, that the combined might of the legion AND Magnus leading them should have been able to defeat any other single legion that didn't outnumber them by 2 to 1 or more but w/e) so I then wondered what their numbers were after the heresy. You'd almost think the chaos legion would be so small it would barely be worth mentioning in the 40k codices at all. I almost get the impression they're just scattered survivors. Thinking about how big some of the chapters and legions are/were also got me wondering how they dispersed some of them out. For instance, in Dawn of War 1 and 2 the Blood Ravens are scattered over... what, their space force and like 3 planets at a time? Or is that way off b/c those are the only ones relevant to the game? How many Blood Ravens are there and where are they all (obviously they move around a lot but at a given time would there be a hundred on this planet, 50 on this planet, 300 on their barges etc or what)?
Basically, I'm wanting a mental picture of everyone's numbers on a large scale. If anyone knows any of these numbers for ANY point in time for ANY 40k force I'd be appreciative to know to start getting some of the pieces of the puzzle together.

JWhex
09-04-2013, 19:02
The 1000 per chapter is just a laughably small number even for the so called surgical strike operations that marines allegedly carry out. And even then those operations are not usually if ever done at full chapter strength.

In the Horus Heresy book about Corax, he specifically mentions that his Legion is reduced from a strength of 80,000 to just a few thousand at the dropsite massacre.

jareddm3
09-04-2013, 19:42
Parallaxus, just wondering if you've read Thousand Sons because there are some very good reasons that the thousand sons lost at prospero.. First, Magnus gave the wolves the element of surprise because he felt it was a deserved punishment. Second, the legion was being affected by the flesh change on a fairly large scale during the battle. Third, the Wolves plus custodes and sisters of silence did outnumber the thousand sons by a large margin.

Horus38
09-04-2013, 20:22
If anyone knows any of these numbers for ANY point in time for ANY 40k force I'd be appreciative to know to start getting some of the pieces of the puzzle together.

http://www.forgeworld.co.uk/The_Horus_Heresy/Horus_Heresy_Books/THE_HORUS__HERESY_BOOK_ONE_BETRAYAL.html

This book lays out pretty specific numbers for pre-heresy legions (Sons of Horus, Death Guard, World Eaters, and Emperors Children) before and after Istvaan IV. The Horus Heresy book series from Black Library also touches on legion sizes occasionally. But as a rule of thumb most legions are around 60,000 to 80,000, with the bigger two (ultramarines and word bearers) being closer to 150,000 to 225,000 marines, pre-heresy mind you.

Kiro
09-04-2013, 20:49
Don't forget not every hostile world, human or Xenos, will necessarily be at the same tech-level of the Imperium, which is another force magnifier itself.

JWhex
10-04-2013, 01:37
The best approach is to just not expect 40k numbers to make any sense, then you wont be disapointed.

taylor637
10-04-2013, 04:10
The number of soldiers serving in World War 2 surpasses 100 million but even that is barely 4.5% of the world population. Today, the world has about 75 million soldiers if we count reserves and paramilitary forces. This is only 1% of the world's population. Personal opinions on militarization aside, that's not very high. In comparison, North Korea has 38.6% of their country in the armed forces. That's probably beyond even the Imperium but countries like South Korea, Cuba, Israel, Armenia or Taiwan that potentially could face invasion and thus maintain a large military have around 10% of their population serving. For comparison, the US has .73% of its population in the military. Once again, these numbers include reserve and paramilitary forces.

GW writers just have no sense of scale. Without out even thinking about how underpopulated hive planets are, Earth is tiny with 7 billion people. Arming 10% of that would mean 700 million soldiers (keep in mind this does include logistical support and non-frontline soldiers). That's twice the percentage of population serving in World War 2 but probably a reasonable number in a dangerous setting like the Imperium. Armies of this boggle the mind. How can you even imagine the number soldiers on a hive world? Looking at planetary invasions, think how many troops would be required to conqueror Earth. Now think about a hive world.

1000 space marines isn't enough, even if they are supported by millions of Imperial Army troops. Inter-galactic warfare on the scale of the Imperium would require billions if not trillions of soldiers. The logistics would be insane. The size of fleets would be insane. Even if space marines only engaged in strategic strikes on key installations, think about how many key installations exist here on Earth, how much redundancy all those have and how long we probably could keep fighting without a lot of them--and we're not even preparing for an invasion.

I totally agree. It was a Hugh undertaking. And GW just doesn't get it

Kiro
10-04-2013, 05:27
I totally agree. It was a Hugh undertaking. And GW just doesn't get it

Grant or Heffner sized? ;)

Idomeneus
10-04-2013, 11:11
Well BA are stated to be 120000, Smurfs at 250000, WB at 100000 (James Swallow should have read the bit about WB being second only to UM in numbers before he wrote Fear to Tread), IF at 90,000, TS at 10000 (Hence why they lost on Prospero) Agree that chapter numbers are ridiculous. Just looking at legion numbers, even with the Calth losses, UM should have around 150 second founding sucessors, not 20something. Alpha legion probably have 10000000000000000000000000000000000 marines, but nobody knows where they are...