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Ealdwulf
15-05-2015, 16:10
So I was thinking about this the other day and then I read a part in the Lexicanum that re-enforced my thought.

Was each founding chapter made with a specific role in mind?

Some of them are more obvious than others, but what do you guys think of some of the missing chapters? I've taken a stab at a few of them but my knowledge is probably quite limited compared to some on this forum.

1. Dark Angels - Role Unknown?
2. N/A
3. Emperor's Children - Training/Martial Prowess?
4. Iron Warriors - Siege Specialist
5. White Scars - Scouting/Lightening Warfare
6. Space Wolves - The Loyal Hounds - sent to hunt down with overwhelming force and brutality
7. Imperial Fist - The Emperors Champions
8. Nightlords - Psychological Warfare/Night Warfare
9. Blood Angels - (not sure what their founding purpose would be)
10. Iron Hands - Machinery and Bionics
11. N/A
12. World Eaters - Brutality in force
13. Ultramarines - Emperor's dutiful host
14. Death Guard - ?
15. Thousand Sons - Keepers of Knowledge
16. Luna Wolves - Leadership and Strategy
17. Word Bearers - To spread the Emperor's Word - Evangelize his cause
18. Salamanders - Masters of the Forge
19. Raven Guard - Masters of Guerrilla Warfare/The Unseen
20. Alpha Legion - Sneaky ?

As I said I have quite a few holes, and I'm not sure my assessments are are even correct, but it was something fun to think about. Any ideas to fill in the gaps would be awesome.

What do you folks think?

Charistoph
15-05-2015, 17:17
Legions, not Chapters.

But there were numerous cases of the Legions being directed towards aspects of warfare, and duplicated, if not triplicated among the Primarchs as well. Some of it had to do with where they were found and their upbringing, but the traits still held in the Legions created from their geneseed before they were found, albeit, not as strongly and not as focused as when they finally met up with their Primarch.

Case in point, Night Lords, Raven Guard, and Alpha Legion are all focused on asymmetrical warfare. What made them different by the time of the Heresy is how they were raised refined the process of which version they preferred. Raven Guard is on scouted strikes. Night Lords are about terrorism. Alpha Legion is about infiltration and subversion.

Ealdwulf
15-05-2015, 18:38
Legions, not Chapters.

But there were numerous cases of the Legions being directed towards aspects of warfare, and duplicated, if not triplicated among the Primarchs as well. Some of it had to do with where they were found and their upbringing, but the traits still held in the Legions created from their geneseed before they were found, albeit, not as strongly and not as focused as when they finally met up with their Primarch.

Case in point, Night Lords, Raven Guard, and Alpha Legion are all focused on asymmetrical warfare. What made them different by the time of the Heresy is how they were raised refined the process of which version they preferred. Raven Guard is on scouted strikes. Night Lords are about terrorism. Alpha Legion is about infiltration and subversion.

Fantastic discernment between the "Stealth" Legions, Raven Guard, Night Lords, and Alpha Legion.

So Let me understand this Legion = Pre-Heresy forces?

Charistoph
15-05-2015, 19:05
So Let me understand this Legion = Pre-Heresy forces?

The Space Marines were originally organized in Legions. After the Heresy, the Loyalists broke up their Legions in to (generally) autonomous Chapters.

The non-Loyalists each went through different experiences, with most breaking up in to Warbands beholden to one Lord or another. Some Warbands kept their Legion identity, some joined another Legion, while others created their own identity. This is further confused by later Chapters turning rogue and changing their identity as they went marauding across the cosmos.

rapaxvita
15-05-2015, 21:26
Chapters were once a part of a legion, in 30k times. Legions were the massive 18 groups that you mentioned before, with a primarch leading them. Each legion was tens of thousands of marines, with 1,000 strong chapters within them. After the heresy, it was decided that the strength of a legion was too much for a single mortal to take control of. So they split the legions into chapters with a chapter master leading them. So 40k has chapters, where as 30k had legions with chapters within them.

There has been a lot of debate about whether the legions were designed with specific roles in mind, however there is a compelling argument that they were since they facets of the emperor. So it is possible they each took a piece of personality and style. I think they each have their specialities but I think each legion is capable of doing the same thing as the others, just not as well. I also think that you managed to summarize the roles pretty well but there have been other threads on this topic, so you may want to find those if you want to find out more.

Silversage
15-05-2015, 23:30
I'd put them something like this:

1. Dark Angels - Master tacticians, stubborn soldiers who would hold their ground even when it might be better to fall back.
2. N/A
3. Emperor's Children - Poster boys of how everyone can strive for perfection and appreciate talent and awe-inspiring things, regardless of if he were a commoner, a governor or even an Astartes. Before the Heresy, were quite nice to common people if I remember correctly
4. Iron Warriors - Siege specialists, such a fortress hadn't been invented that they couldn't have cracked it open
5. White Scars - Masters of the hit & run, they were fast and picked their enemies apart with lighting assaults.
6. Space Wolves - The Emperor's Executioners. Judge, jury and executioner, they were sent where things needed to be straightened out, even if it was something the common man might frown upon.
7. Imperial Fist - The mirror of the Iron Warriors, castle-builders without peer. Could fortify anything and hold it, no matter the odds. The single-biggest shield that defended the Emperor during the Siege of Terra.
8. Night Lords - Not a mirror image, but a different shade of the Space Wolves. Where the Wolves had restraint and could be trusted to keep a level head, the Night Lords were/are terror incarnate. They became the ultimate psychological weapon, worlds threw down their weapons at the mere mention of Night Lords being on their way. If you needed an example set, these were the guys who would get the job done, even if you might regret it afterwards.
9. Blood Angels - Similar to the Emperor's Children, they strived for perfection and honor in their lives. Also very nice to the common people, they were artisans and artists as well as furious warriors. A Legion that represented honor and valiance above all else.
10. Iron Hands - The sort-of-Mechanicum of the Adeptus Astartes. Implacable warriors in their own right, they were a wall of iron that could be counted on to crush the opposition with iron and strength, even if they did so in a much less... fancier way than for example Blood Angels or Emperor's Children.
11. N/A
12. World Eaters - Space Wolves without their happy pills, Night Lords without the patience or desire for inciting fear and terror. If you needed something dead, absolutely, positively, 100% dead, there was only one choice. It didn't matter who/what the enemy was, the World Eaters would charge it and rip it to pieces. They were the bulldozer of the Crusade.
13. Ultramarines - Perhaps the most balanced of all the Legions, they were warriors, artists and humanitarians, but most of all they were administrators. The Ultramarines were a consolidation force, an army that could be counted on to defeat any enemy and pacify the world in such a manner, that it would stay pacified. Not by culling the populace, but by educating them, appreciating them and governing them fairly.
14. Death Guard - An absolutely unstoppable wall of steel and death, that slowly but surely overwhelmed any position and opposition set against them. Death Guard were tenacious, tough and hard to kill even before Nurgle came along. Some might even call them attrition warfare specialists, as they could endure almost any situation, environment or weapon thrown at them and still advance.
15. Thousand Sons - The scholars, the guardians of lore and wisdom. Psykers, every last one of them, they really were beyond human, both in their skills as warriors and as scholars. They would have made the Administratum look like dumbasses had peace reigned and they could have focused on learning, teaching and recording things.
16. Luna Wolves - Horus Lupercal's own forces, the epitome of leadership and fighting like true warriors. They were what the Astartes were thought to be and proud of it. The spearhead of the Crusade, they were the first to take the fight to the enemy many times.
17. Word Bearers - Where the Ultramarines would pacify and rule, the Word Bearers would conquer and preach. Subjugation was not enough, they needed to implant the Imperial Creed to the minds of anyone and everyone. The Ecclesiarchy of the Astartes.
18. Salamanders - Artisans without peer, creators of the perhaps most exquisite craft and weapons in the Imperium. They were also perhaps the most generous and accepting of all the Legions when it came to the common man, they lived to protect humanity. Strong, dutiful, honorable, they were an anvil that both could create and, in times of war, destroy with equal authority.
19. Raven Guard - The guerilla force of the Astartes. Where the White Scars would just scream out from behind cover with their bikes and cut the enemy down before disappearing, the Raven Guard would infiltrate behind enemy lines and wait for the perfect opportunity. Where the Night Lords would mess with the minds of their enemies, the Raven Guard would focus on their goals. Where the Alpha Legion would subvert and let infighting take over, the Raven Guard would strike and end the conflict in a single, decisive blow. Stealth and precision strikes were the forté of the Raven Guard.
20. Alpha Legion - The most notoriously elusive and full of guile, Alpha Legion is somewhat of a mystery even to their brothers. They are the ultimate infiltrators, you don't even know they exist but they still manipulate everything the way they want to. Not so much warriors (though they are Astartes, so of course they can fight) but planners and schemers, they made worlds fall without ever unsheathing their blades or firing their guns.

All the Legions were unique in a way, though there was some overlap. All of them were full of warriors, all of them could fight any regular battle of the Crusade, all of them were big, bad, scary Space Marines. How they went about crusading and practising their extracurricular activities and what they valued just differed from Primarch to Primarch, Legion to Legion.

Ealdwulf
18-05-2015, 15:29
I'd put them something like this:

1. Dark Angels - Master tacticians, stubborn soldiers who would hold their ground even when it might be better to fall back.
2. N/A
3. Emperor's Children - Poster boys of how everyone can strive for perfection and appreciate talent and awe-inspiring things, regardless of if he were a commoner, a governor or even an Astartes. Before the Heresy, were quite nice to common people if I remember correctly
4. Iron Warriors - Siege specialists, such a fortress hadn't been invented that they couldn't have cracked it open
5. White Scars - Masters of the hit & run, they were fast and picked their enemies apart with lighting assaults.
6. Space Wolves - The Emperor's Executioners. Judge, jury and executioner, they were sent where things needed to be straightened out, even if it was something the common man might frown upon.
7. Imperial Fist - The mirror of the Iron Warriors, castle-builders without peer. Could fortify anything and hold it, no matter the odds. The single-biggest shield that defended the Emperor during the Siege of Terra.
8. Night Lords - Not a mirror image, but a different shade of the Space Wolves. Where the Wolves had restraint and could be trusted to keep a level head, the Night Lords were/are terror incarnate. They became the ultimate psychological weapon, worlds threw down their weapons at the mere mention of Night Lords being on their way. If you needed an example set, these were the guys who would get the job done, even if you might regret it afterwards.
9. Blood Angels - Similar to the Emperor's Children, they strived for perfection and honor in their lives. Also very nice to the common people, they were artisans and artists as well as furious warriors. A Legion that represented honor and valiance above all else.
10. Iron Hands - The sort-of-Mechanicum of the Adeptus Astartes. Implacable warriors in their own right, they were a wall of iron that could be counted on to crush the opposition with iron and strength, even if they did so in a much less... fancier way than for example Blood Angels or Emperor's Children.
11. N/A
12. World Eaters - Space Wolves without their happy pills, Night Lords without the patience or desire for inciting fear and terror. If you needed something dead, absolutely, positively, 100% dead, there was only one choice. It didn't matter who/what the enemy was, the World Eaters would charge it and rip it to pieces. They were the bulldozer of the Crusade.
13. Ultramarines - Perhaps the most balanced of all the Legions, they were warriors, artists and humanitarians, but most of all they were administrators. The Ultramarines were a consolidation force, an army that could be counted on to defeat any enemy and pacify the world in such a manner, that it would stay pacified. Not by culling the populace, but by educating them, appreciating them and governing them fairly.
14. Death Guard - An absolutely unstoppable wall of steel and death, that slowly but surely overwhelmed any position and opposition set against them. Death Guard were tenacious, tough and hard to kill even before Nurgle came along. Some might even call them attrition warfare specialists, as they could endure almost any situation, environment or weapon thrown at them and still advance.
15. Thousand Sons - The scholars, the guardians of lore and wisdom. Psykers, every last one of them, they really were beyond human, both in their skills as warriors and as scholars. They would have made the Administratum look like dumbasses had peace reigned and they could have focused on learning, teaching and recording things.
16. Luna Wolves - Horus Lupercal's own forces, the epitome of leadership and fighting like true warriors. They were what the Astartes were thought to be and proud of it. The spearhead of the Crusade, they were the first to take the fight to the enemy many times.
17. Word Bearers - Where the Ultramarines would pacify and rule, the Word Bearers would conquer and preach. Subjugation was not enough, they needed to implant the Imperial Creed to the minds of anyone and everyone. The Ecclesiarchy of the Astartes.
18. Salamanders - Artisans without peer, creators of the perhaps most exquisite craft and weapons in the Imperium. They were also perhaps the most generous and accepting of all the Legions when it came to the common man, they lived to protect humanity. Strong, dutiful, honorable, they were an anvil that both could create and, in times of war, destroy with equal authority.
19. Raven Guard - The guerilla force of the Astartes. Where the White Scars would just scream out from behind cover with their bikes and cut the enemy down before disappearing, the Raven Guard would infiltrate behind enemy lines and wait for the perfect opportunity. Where the Night Lords would mess with the minds of their enemies, the Raven Guard would focus on their goals. Where the Alpha Legion would subvert and let infighting take over, the Raven Guard would strike and end the conflict in a single, decisive blow. Stealth and precision strikes were the forté of the Raven Guard.
20. Alpha Legion - The most notoriously elusive and full of guile, Alpha Legion is somewhat of a mystery even to their brothers. They are the ultimate infiltrators, you don't even know they exist but they still manipulate everything the way they want to. Not so much warriors (though they are Astartes, so of course they can fight) but planners and schemers, they made worlds fall without ever unsheathing their blades or firing their guns.

All the Legions were unique in a way, though there was some overlap. All of them were full of warriors, all of them could fight any regular battle of the Crusade, all of them were big, bad, scary Space Marines. How they went about crusading and practising their extracurricular activities and what they valued just differed from Primarch to Primarch, Legion to Legion.

This is pretty awesome - I guess I never thought about some of these like this. I especially like how you differentiated between some of the Legions that seem closer. Like the Raven Guard/Alpha Legion/Night Lords. Pretty cool stuff.

daftpunkevo
18-05-2015, 18:24
Death Guard are basically described as expert in everything in the FW 30K Books. They were basically so OP they mostly go to war footslogging the battelfield and stomping everything, they are also the only legion that can use that much rad and chem weapons, other marines would just die using them in the long run.

Karhedron
19-05-2015, 09:03
The HH novels strongly imply that at least some of the differences between the Legions were planned. One of the Primarchs comments that the Emperor made them for different battles. On top of that, the life experiences of the scattered Primarchs had an effect on them which they later passed on to their Legions.

Silversage's list of Legion traits is broadly correct although I would add some refinements.

The Dark Angels have a strong loner and independent streak. This is partly due being the 1st Legion. For quite some time, they were the only Legion and had to operate alone without support. As well as the Deathwing and Ravenwing, in older fluff they also had formations such as the Ironwing which included heavily armoured battle tanks not normally associated with Space Marines.

The Emperor's Childrens' obsession with perfection stemmed from their early history. An accident with their geneseed almost destroyed them. The rebuilding took time and they could not compete with other legions in size. Since they could not compete on quantity they decided to compete on quality and thus the ideal of perfectionism took root.

The Iron Warriors certainly had a knack for siege warfare but partly they were forced into the role. In "Flesh and Iron" Perturabo resents being used as a blunt instrument of destruction when he would actually rather be building. I wonder how much of his antipathy with Rogal Dorn was due to the fact that although they had similar skill-sets, Dorn was allowed to be a builder as well as a destroyer.

The White Scars specialise in more than just Hit-and-Run. They make war in ambiguity without letting their opponents know their strengths disposition or even intentions. Knowledege is power and the White Scars go out of their way to deny their enemies this power.

Ultramarines were more than just administrators. Whereas many Legions practiced war as a way of life or even art, the Ultramarines regard it as science. The Codex Astartes was Guilliman's attempt to take the tactical acumen of a Primarch and put it in a library so the Marines could apply it themselves without a Primarch's leadership. The HH novels suggest it worked as there is one scene in Vengeful Spirit where 300 Ultramarines are beating back and cutting down 400 Sons of Horus. Aximand observes that the Sons of Horus individually fight better but the Ultramarines methodical skill and unit tactics make them better as a force. This is something that is poorly represented in the game where the Ultramarines come across average rather than epitome.

Silversage
20-05-2015, 15:01
Well refined Karhedron. Especially the Emperor's Children and Ultramarines-parts, the former I'm quite unfamiliar with and the latter I simply neglected for reasons unknown.

Iron Warriors might have been forced into their role, but I'm not so sure if the majority of them had problems with it. In Angel Exterminatus it is clearly established that Perturabo himself did resent being seen only as a blunt weapon of war. He greatly disapproved that his Legion was mainly used in situations, where you just had to throw enough bodies at the enemies' walls and they would crumble. The Iron Warrior protagonists in the book were either "let's go climb that wall and bash some heads in, even if it costs us our lives"- or "I have an armada of Titan-sized weaponry back here, I'll keep shooting at them until they die"-types. Granted, the Iron Warriors had established strongholds throughout their campaigns and it was a bitch to dig them out after the Heresy (see Iron Cage), so they could build as well as destroy. It's just that before the Heresy this was overshadowed by their accomplishments in siege actions.

Dr.Clock
21-05-2015, 19:24
There are SO many factors in the 'perfect mixture' of the Legions as we now know them. It's worth noting that much of the now-established canon was simply NOT present in the early era of Rogue Trader, for instance - Roboute Guilliman was initially just a randomly named marine character, IIRC.

I think of over time, the Legions have all taken on clearly discernible characteristics, that are 'intentional' from the writers' perspective to give fans 'archetypes' that flesh out some of the variety that exists within the general 'Space Marine' envelope.

As to WHY each of them is so different, from an in-universe perspective? At this point we run up agains the inevitable 'nature vs. nurture' debate, that is still not satisfactorily concluded in any of our sciences or social sciences. When you start to look more closely at the individual Primarchs, and how their Legions either changed, or did not change, after they met their 'fathers', it starts to seem like some of the qualities of the Primarchs were 'in-born'. Yet some of those very same qualities are clearly reflected in influences from the planets and cultures the Primarchs grew up in/on. The best example is probably Angron and the War Hounds (WE) - they were already being censured for attacking friendly troops, and known as the 'Bloody 13th' before they even met Angron. Of course, it's not unlikely that some kind of psychic connection between Primarch and Legion would mean that Legion behaviour and preference was being affected 'at a distance' by the experiences of their gene-Sires... it just makes the whole thing more complicated and hard to determine...

The short answer to your question is 'yes'. The long answer is 'we can't know exactly how or why or by whom'.

Cheers,

The Good Doctor.

Bonzai
24-05-2015, 21:27
I always saw the loyalists and traitor legions as kind of being paired off for certain battlefield roles. Each has an opposite legion that is a reflection of the other. While their approaches may differ, they fulfill the same battlefield roles.

Blood Angels & World Eaters: Attrition Warfare
You want to break and demoralize the enemy through massive attrition? You send in one of these two legions. They are the meat grinder Legions. They will mow down enemy infantry in spectacular fashion. These legions both have an innate blood lust. Only difference is one embraces it, while the other fights to control it. Either way, you need to chop down the enemy in bloody fashion, these are your men.

Death Guard & Salamanders: Asymmetric/ Hostile Environment Warfare
Both of these legions can march through hell, come out the other side, and assault a numerically superior force without back up or support. Tough as they come, independent, and self sufficient. They are the anvil that the enemy breaks it's self upon. As a consequence, they are also good as cleansing ops, and can scour an area clean. Main difference is that the place will still be habitable after the Salamanders get through with it.

Alpha Legion & Raven Guard: Infiltration/ Counter Intelligence
Need a legion who can get behind enemy lines without drawing attention to themselves? Look no further. Both excel at stealth and recon. Both place a lot of value in Intel and information gathering. More than any other Legions, they are your Black Ops guys.

Night Lords & White Scars: Hit and run Guerrilla Warfare
Need a rapidly moving force that can launch a surprise attack and be gone before the enemy can launch its counter offensive? It's these guys. Specializing in attacking from unexpected angles before the enemy knows they are there. They rely on speed and surprise instead of brute force. They are also known to sow confusion and panic in their wake.

Iron Warriors & Imperial fists: Fortifications & Siege Warfare
Whether it's creating fortifications or knocking them down, these guys are the best. They are impressive builders and engineers, and can take or hold any location. In offense or defense they are also brutal short range fighters, either with ruthlessly disciplined bolter fire, or near berserker fury.

Emperor's Children & Iron Hands: Surgical/ Coordinated Strikes
You have a complex battle plan that requires multiple and precise actions by multiple units? These are the guys for the job. They both focus on perfection. They will do exactly what is needed, at precisely the time they are told to. They will coordinate flawlessly, with no margin of error. Give them their mission parameters, and count on it being done. Pre-Heresy at least.

Word Bearers & Ultramarines: Social Engineers/ Occupation Forces
It's one thing to conquer a planet, and a whole other thing to keep it. You need to take a defeated enemy, and turn them into productive members of your empire. These two legions are the go to guys for this sort of thing. Ultramarines are systematic and efficient at transforming a civilization into an Imperial world. The Word Bearers transform populations into fanatically loyal subjects. More than any other legions, these guys excel at what comes after the battle is won.

Sons of Horus & Dark Angels: Spear Tip/ Decapitation Strikes
Horus and Johnson were the two greatest strategists of the Primarchs. When they struck, it was to end wars in one strike, let alone the battle. As a result, their legions became adaptable, mission oriented, and used to being deployed into the thick of things to achieve specific objectives.

That leaves the Space Wolves and Thousand Sons, who don't seem to have a perfect counterpart. This seems to blow my theory out of the water, until you remember that there were two more Primarchs. What rumors we have is that one and their Primarch were put down by the Space Wolves. The others legion was rumored to have been folded into the Ultra Marines. What would cause a Primarch to be killed? Perhaps he was a psyker who was already corrupted by chaos? That would certainly explain why he was killed and the following cover up. Certainly a potential pairing with Magnus. And the entire legion that was put down? Unstable mutations, like the mark of the Wolfen but worse would also be a possible answer.

Many like to debate and say that certain legions also share other traits and fill different roles at times, and that is certainly true. However I am working with the general flavor of the Legions as they are stereotypically portrayed.

SuperHappyTime
25-05-2015, 01:42
That leaves the Space Wolves and Thousand Sons, who don't seem to have a perfect counterpart. This seems to blow my theory out of the water, until you remember that there were two more Primarchs. What rumors we have is that one and their Primarch were put down by the Space Wolves. The others legion was rumored to have been folded into the Ultra Marines. What would cause a Primarch to be killed? Perhaps he was a psyker who was already corrupted by chaos? That would certainly explain why he was killed and the following cover up. Certainly a potential pairing with Magnus. And the entire legion that was put down? Unstable mutations, like the mark of the Wolfen but worse would also be a possible answer.

Many like to debate and say that certain legions also share other traits and fill different roles at times, and that is certainly true. However I am working with the general flavor of the Legions as they are stereotypically portrayed.

I do remember lore saying the furballs kicked the **** out of the Thousand Sons, and the two are very anti-/pro- psyker.

The other loyal legion being folded into the Ultramarines might be the real reason why all librarians wear blue.

Kjell
25-05-2015, 16:29
Space Wolves and Thousand Sons share struggling with mutation. The latter were almost destroyed by it before they recovered Magnus and could use him to stabilise their gene-seed. I don't know if they share strategic uses, though. Space Wolves basically just murder people. Thousand Sons preferred diplomacy and trickery due to their small numbers.

inq.serge
25-05-2015, 22:10
As I've understood from the fluff;

Emperors Children (just like Fulgrim): Being Best*.

With the exception of Psykers, they were the best* at everything, they just happened to be few and not capable of being everywhere all the time, so when a Legion couldn't get their job done, the Emperors Children came and got that job done properly by doing what the helped legion does, but better.


* If you look at the presented statistics in the fluff, Emperors Children (And Fulgrim) have the best W/L and K/D ratios, highest Highscore, and not only most Achieves unlocked/completed, but first at almost all of them.