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The Inevitable One
17-07-2016, 11:16
We've seen the physical attributes of enhanced humans (Space Marines), but could other factions in the 40k universe produce enhanced soldiers of their own and pull off the same/better results? Or have such factions already hit the ceiling with regards to being enhanced? I wouldn't expect these factions to replicate the same techniques that the Emperor used, but anything they can get their hands on to help cope with the difficulties of war? Extra organs, skeletal/muscular growth, etc.

Felwether
17-07-2016, 12:13
Most of the other races don't need enhanced soldiers because they're already superior to humans in one way or another. The faction that are most likely to try it in my opinion at least are the Tau but they're probably more likely to employ external technology rather than physically modifying their troops.

I suppose the Dark Eldar have enhanced soldiers to a degree in the form of Scourges and Wracks.

TheSaylesMan
17-07-2016, 14:24
Most of the other races don't need enhanced soldiers because they're already superior to humans in one way or another.

That's like saying that I am stronger than a cat so humans don't need to be physically augmented. Organisms always compete against others of their own kind so physical augmentation will always be useful to someone.

We do have some augmented soldiers in xenos factions already. Homunculi, their experiments, enhanced thralls, patients and clientèle all are enhanced in one way or another. None to the degree Astartes are over humans as far as I can tell. There have been some books that imply that Eldar are resistant to the effects of natural selection so perhaps there are some barriers to genetic engineering there. Or perhaps I am just looking too deeply into what is just a game balance decision. Orks have Cyborks. Those count. I can't think of any other examples. I think perhaps the least likely to engage in augmenting members of their species is the Tau because it could potentially flip their entire caste system on its head. Perhaps they could engineer new castes from the ground up? That would be the safest I think.

Lord Damocles
17-07-2016, 16:10
The Tau's selective breeding is a form of enhancing their soldiers, which has led to the Fire Caste becoming, 'the biggest and strongest of the Tau' (Codex: Tau (3rd ed.), pg.8).

Saunders
17-07-2016, 16:22
Dark Eldar practice a lot of enhancements through their interactions with the Haemonculii.

Jack of Blades
17-07-2016, 17:36
The Tau's selective breeding is a form of enhancing their soldiers, which has led to the Fire Caste becoming, 'the biggest and strongest of the Tau' (Codex: Tau (3rd ed.), pg.8).

Being big and strong sounds like the two most irrelevant characteristics for warring humanoids in the 40k universe. Even negative since they'll be bigger targets, more affected by gravity and consume more supplies for the same output. Shoddy genetic engineering :p

Memnos
17-07-2016, 18:39
Dark Eldar really heavily augment their troops - Drugs, for instance, or full-on changes like Grotesques.

In terms of sheer ability, the Dark Eldar develop more physically imposing specimens while the Emperor created more all-rounders: A marine is far more likely to survive trapped behind enemy lines than a Grotesque, for instance.

The Tau use cybernetics pretty extensively, but their use of exoskeletons and AI render extensive modification unnecessary. Especially because their war tactics involve far different methods than the Emperor.

Theocracity
18-07-2016, 00:45
Being big and strong sounds like the two most irrelevant characteristics for warring humanoids in the 40k universe.

I'm not sure that's born out by most examples of actual 40k. I'd agree with you if we were talking about a general sci-fi world, but in a world where Astartes, Orks, and Bloodthirsters are a relevant force I'd say that being big and strong is certainly an advantage.

And yeah, if this were any other kind of realistic world an Ork would get killed at long range and his strength wouldn't matter. But it's 40k, so realism isn't very relevant.

Sir_Turalyon
18-07-2016, 12:06
Space Marines are pretty much unique - they are creation of Emperor, a non-human with godlike intellect, 30+ millenia of experience in science and warp cheats if science alone isn't working. And, Marines they are a by-product of Primarchs program, created when organs first designed for artificial demigods were re-purposed to be implanted into ordinary humans to enhance them. So, creating enhanced soldiers comparable with marines is beyond ability of "mortal" humans and aliens. All that's being done is copying them (by cultivating and implanting more gene-seed if you are human, or by eating and copying it if you are Tyranids or Kroot), but making something similar from the scratch... no.

There are of course enhanced humans made with ordinary (understable by mortals) technology, many of them fielded by Adeptus Mechanicus, or more advanced creations of Homeoculi. Orks are geneticaly engineered super soldiers with ability to reproduce, so they all should count.

Denny
18-07-2016, 13:16
As noted, Orks are genetically engineered super soldiers.
'Nids are bio weapons.
Necrons gave up their old bodies in order to become immortal killing machines.
Eldar were either created or reengineered by the Old Ones as a warrior race.

So . . . most of the races in 40K are actually enhanced soldiers of one form or another.

Felwether
18-07-2016, 14:48
That's like saying that I am stronger than a cat so humans don't need to be physically augmented. Organisms always compete against others of their own kind so physical augmentation will always be useful to someone.

That's true. I should have clarified that statement as being in the context of the setting, humans are kind of the baseline. They created their enhanced soldiers specifically to compete with and defeat the others species which are all superior to them in one way or another. But yeah, that was still a pretty stupid thing to say!

Lord Damocles
18-07-2016, 17:19
Guard have plenty of enhanced troops too - Afriel Strain, Gland Warriors, etc.

theJ
02-12-2016, 09:06
As Denny touched on... they do; pretty much ALL the armies in 40K are biologically enhanced to one extent or another. The most obvious example being the Tyranids, who are created with a single, usually murder-based purpose.
After that we've got the various creations of the Old Ones, most famously the Eldar and Orkz, who were all genetically engineered or modified to an arguably even greater extent than the human Space Marines, all in order to give the Old Ones the most powerful warriors this galaxy could provide.
After that comes the Necrons, who abandoned the flesh entirely, partially to achieve immortality, but also to become deadly enough to stand up to the aforemontioned creations of the Old Ones.

In the end, it's only really the Humans and Tau who AREN'T modified by default*, it's just not mentioned as often when dealing with the other races.

*... and arguably the Daemons, who are a bit hard to pin down.

Lord Damocles
02-12-2016, 16:25
Tau have been selectively bred into effectively four (/five) different sub-species.

Gen.Steiner
19-02-2017, 20:12
And 'human' is a catch-all term for those descendants of Homo Sapiens that have, in many cases, evolved to fit their new worlds, or whose ancestors were heavily genetically modified during or before the Golden Age of Technology... Squats, Ratlings and Ogryns are only the most obvious or famous of the gene-engineering...

Xisor
22-02-2017, 17:36
Hell, with "Fabius Bile: Primogenitor" a lot of work looks to be underway on this very topic!

Not to mention the advances sought in other places, like thematically the idea that the MO of the Raven Guard is 'generally' a superior way of using Space Marines compared to 'traditional' Codex deployments. (This from an outlook that assumes that X Codex Marines are generally vastly superior to the same amount, X, of Legionnaries.)

Of course, it's difficult to substantiate that, and it rests on a lot of subjective ideas about what the Codex is, how RG operate etc etc, but it's not exactly a wild statement either - just conjecture (and easily argued against).

In that respect, you've got Alpha Legion on the other side, with a few other ways too - Word Bearers' style, or Thousand Sons... They've all migrated quite far from their original point, and all are arguably superior for it. Are they at their peak? Probably not.

Hell, we know some are substandard - Imperial Fists have missing organs, SW, BA and Black Dragons have radical mutations/behaviours that are very difficult to weigh up in a cost/benefit style.

With the Eldar - there are new Aspects being founded, new styles that are arguably 'better' (or at least filling new niches).

With Tyranids and Kroot - being better is pretty much their MO.

But, of course, this isn't just a linear 'better', it's multidimensional and can even lead to certain rock/paper/scissors situations where a specialisms have big costs for big benefits.

As per the Harlequins - it's an Arms Race Without End..

barrangas
26-03-2017, 15:13
Tau have been selectively bred into effectively four (/five) different sub-species.

I really wouldn't call eugenics enhancement, per say, even when it actually works thanks to the magic of space fantasy. Hard wired devices are definitely a form though. I suspect that the Etherials are against hard core genetic or cybernetic augmentation on the chance they create something they can't control.

Sai-Lauren
29-03-2017, 19:17
Space Marines are pretty much unique - they are creation of Emperor, a non-human with godlike intellect, 30+ millenia of experience in science and warp cheats if science alone isn't working. And, Marines they are a by-product of Primarchs program, created when organs first designed for artificial demigods were re-purposed to be implanted into ordinary humans to enhance them. So, creating enhanced soldiers comparable with marines is beyond ability of "mortal" humans and aliens. All that's being done is copying them (by cultivating and implanting more gene-seed if you are human, or by eating and copying it if you are Tyranids or Kroot), but making something similar from the scratch... no.
Meanwhile the Grey Knights make regular Astartes look mass-produced, the Officio Assassinorum are even more bespoke, and then we get into the Custodes...

And if an Inquisitor feels the need to have a little work done (either themselves or their entourage), no one's going to stop them.

Even with the Guard, Penal Legions get drug injectors implanted, other regiments have various augmetics as standard (Savlar Chem-Dogs for example), and then there's things like D-99 from the Anphelion Project. And some Skitarri aren't so much enhanced as built from the cells up.