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Galvatron
15-11-2006, 04:43
Hey AdMech lovers, I have question which has multiple possible answers. However, I'm not only looking for the possible answers, but also a consensus as to what answer is the most plausible and/or coolest. I will also present the only two possible answers that I know of.

Here it is: What do the Adeptus Mechanicus Praetorian cyborg-soldiers look like, and what are their capabilities?

Minister, I'm looking for your input specifically because time and time again I have found myself agreeing with your opinions and wowed at your knowlege of 40k fluff. ;)

Here are the only two answers that I know of:

1.) Anargo Sector Project: They are humans grown in laboratories at secret locations on forgeworlds. They are cybernetically enhanced to an extreme degree. Specifically for military function. They wear jet-black power armor equivilent with only the AdMech head on the pads for identification. Basically the AdMech's version of a marine. Except instead of using genetics and enhanced training to enhance the combat prowess, they use cybernetics and advanced programming. Two ways to achieve the same goal, roughly. They are also about the same size as a marine, perhaps a little larger. They also conduct alot of their operations via teleport. They are also seen escorting important AdMech as bodyguards. Servitors they may be, but not as brain dead, and certainly more advanced.
Check it out here! http://wiki.anargo-sector.net/index.php?title=Adeptus_Mechanicus


2.) Inquisitor: They are can also be grown in laboratories, but "mind-scrubbed" ogryns are also used; again much more massive than a normal man. No power armor mentioned. However, it does say that they are "extremely armored". Tracks or segmented mechanical legs are used for movement. They also more closely resemble regular servitors, just beefed up with better combat capacity. Again better programming than regular servitors is suggested.
Check it out here! http://www.specialist-games.com/assets/emplorwarband.pdf

Now for the discussion. Both of the above seem plausible. The Inquisitor one is more "official" than the Anargo Sector Project. Be that as it may, the Anargo Sector Project's description totally crushes the Inquitor description when it comes to rule of cool. Silent, efficient, cyborg shock troops, to me at least, is way cooler than semi-conscious ogryns with built-in plasma cannon and targeters. I can also see a tracked ogryn tipping over and looking extremly goofy. Not to mention how it would bobble around on rough ground like a remote control car.

Now if anyone has read or heard any onther descriptions of what they look like or their capabilities, please please post.

I started this thread because I'm looking to build an AdMech army, and I really want to include praetorians. So I'm looking for something that seems or is official, but without being bland.

Gimme all ya got!

ShadowHawk
15-11-2006, 04:51
hmm, my fluff-judo is sadly limited compared to others on this site, but if my memory serves me, the anargo sector fluff concerning praetorians is straight from the 2nd. ed. imperium codex, and is just as official as the inquisitor fluff.

follow the anargo sector, cool is the way to go, noone will give you trouble if it looks awesome, and i'm pretty sure they're right

Galvatron
15-11-2006, 05:01
Would the 2nd edition imperial codex be "Codex: Imperialis" ? or is that a rogue trader one and the one you're referring to a different book?

Nazguire
15-11-2006, 06:44
They are vat grown humans that are grown to be big, and augmented with cybernetics adn weaponry until they are even bigger and nastier. Basically a human tank, more so than a Space Marine. A bolter wouldn' have nothing on these guys, basically the primary weapon would be something like a heavy bolter. Mind scrubbed adn vat grown Ogryns are also used.

ShadowHawk
15-11-2006, 08:25
Would the 2nd edition imperial codex be "Codex: Imperialis" ? or is that a rogue trader one and the one you're referring to a different book?

oops!
see? i said there were people out there who knew more than i did, but yes, codex imperialis.

Minister
15-11-2006, 10:01
It's certainly not from the Codex Imperialis, 'cause they aren't in there...

From the Epic list:

Praetorian Combat Servitors

Praetorians are intended to provide complete protection for the Tech-priest on the battlefield. They are elite cyborgs warriors which bodyguard the Magos and protect temples, shrines and other facilities threatened with direct attack. Heavily armed and armoured they typically mass over twice the bulk of a man or more, with tracks or jointed legs to carry their immense weight. Some Praetorians are created from vat-grown giants or mind-scrubbed Ogryns. All are designed to intimidate and, if necessary, obliterate.

Which is the same as the Inquisitor article, come to think of it.

Same list has the equipped (on a unit level) with lasguns, plasma guns and Praetorian close combat weapons (nice and vague) and makes them one category more durable than Marines.

From Deus Ex Mechanicus:

The figures came closer. They were Praetorians, bionically reconstructed warriorservitors of the Machine God. Their cadaverous faces gazed stonily from a nest of targeting scopes and data-wires, gun barrels and energy tubes tracked Lakius and Osil until they halted. A chest-mounted speaker on one crackled into life.
'Two lifeforms identified. Classified nonhostile. Please follow, Father Lakius, Acolyte Osil.'

Lakius, Osil and Borr were in an observation gallery at the top of the command sphere. As a rune priest adept, Boff was trained to piece together fragmentary information and make speculative theorem, something akin to black magic to most techpriests. As such, Borr had explained, he was detailed to make observations of their attackers, try to understand their tactics, strengths and weaknesses and then feed effective protocols to the Praetorians.

THE PRAETORIANS fought well on the northern side. They used a storm bunker to narrow the angles so they only fought part of the enemy at once. Clattering forward on armoured treads, a salvo of missiles scorched across the void-black sky and cut down two enemy machines as they emerged from the las-mesh. Lightning-crack discharges of plasma burned another, but a critical overheat damaged one of the servitors as his shoulder-mounted plasma cannon suffered meltdown.

So, they are servitors, with the ability to carry out semi-autonimous battlefield opperations but still needing human command. They are heavily armed and armoured, with plasma featuring heavily, and are durable (I wouldn't put them in actual power amrmour myself, but there is nothing to say they do not use it). Evidence seems to support an upgraded servitor, sometimes from superior clone stock, with extensive upgrades. Magos bodyguard uints could, of course, have a variety of additional upgrades.

Gotta dash now, late for the gym. Will speculate further later.

Galvatron
15-11-2006, 21:46
Thank you very much Minister. I really appreciate it.

Where does the Anargo Sector Project information come from? Or is it entirely fan fiction with a few bits of canon built in?

I guess I still have my options. Although it certainly looks as though the tracked super-servitor is the more "accurate" depiction.

Anargo Project = Allied space marine rules or deathwatch (exotic weapons) rules for praetorians.
Inquisitor/Epic/DeusExMechanicus = Ogryn rules for praetorians. However they cannot use plasma weaponry which presents a problem.

I guess tracked combat servitors just seem so limited. I keep thinking of Johnny 5 from the movie "Short Circuit" with flesh and muscle hanging off of him and a plasma cannon arm. Again, goofy looking. However the fluff does mention segmented legs, I'm assuming totally bionic.

malika
15-11-2006, 22:25
I think CELS got his Praetorian story from the older fluff, so 2nd edition codex Imperialis stuff if I recall correctly.

Minister
15-11-2006, 22:25
Not all of them are tracked, just some of them. If you recall the old Epic Warhound, I think that one would make a mighty nice conversion base. I vaguely recall a conversion involving them and a 1st edition Chaos Terminator being seen amongst Andy Chambers' Iron Warriors during the 2nd edition Codex development.

Just because it's a servitor doesn't mean it has to look like the ones from the Daemonhunter (etc.) range.

I belive the Anargo stuff is, for the most part, fanfic (albeit good fanfic). Most of it doesn't actually contradict any of the established facts, but there are sections where the authors put their own spin on things and/or bend the rules.

CELS
15-11-2006, 23:49
I wrote the ASP fluff on servitors, and it is in this case absolutely fanfic which, although inspired by fluff, shouldn't be considered canon. That can be said about a lot of ASP stuff really, as we tend to start with canon and then tweak things slightly when we're not completely satisfied with GW's 'fluff'. Glad you liked it, by the way.

Fortunately, the 'fluff' allows a great deal of latitude when it comes to servitors. Some of them are basically like stupid robots, with very few functions and close to no cognitive abilities (mono-task servitors), but the BL novels include some more advanced servitors, I believe, used as servants, ship crew, etc. Even if Praetorians are servitors, that doesn't mean they'd have to be clumsy ogryns banging their head against the wall if they couldn't find a door.

In other words, you could always go with our description, and still call them servitors. After all, servitors are defined as bio-engineered humans that have been programmed. It's a rather loose definition.

EDIT: Reading my own article, I do actually call them servitors. They're just clearly more advanced than what other sources might suggest.

Galvatron
16-11-2006, 01:00
Your article was fantastic. To me, at least, it really fits the Admech a little better. Sure skitarii are elite compared to guard, cataphractarii are elite compared to guard tank crews, etc, if all else because of their upgrades. But who among the AdMech are elite? The Praetorians are, or so in your article. The praetorians GW suggests just seem big and hard with big guns, not necessarily elite in the best sense of the word. Wouldn't you rather have an SAS or Spetsnaz guy as your bodyguard instead of an over-muscled bouncer? The jet black armor was perfect. Although a deep red would have worked as well, albeit a bit generic for AdMech.

Again, thank you guys for clearing this up with me. Especially how there is alot of lateral movement when it comes to how I want to portray them.

CELS
16-11-2006, 01:38
Well, jet black for elites is a bit of a cliché, I admit, but what the hey :)

And I totally agree about the requirements for the Mechanicus elite. I really think they should exemplify the absolute highest potential of bionic technology, not just be big ogryns with cannons screwed to their shoulders. The bit about ceremonial armour was inspired by the roman praetorians, which struck me as quite intimidating in the movie Gladiator. Elite troopers in ornate black armour looks loads more scary than a bunch of big brutes :)

malika
16-11-2006, 12:05
I found tons of pre heresy artwork at some photobucket account of a member here, in there I found a picture of some armoured Adeptus Mechanicus trooper, perhaps this could be a Praetorian? linkie (http://i76.photobucket.com/albums/j23/Lleman_Russ/HH3/Adeptus%20Mechanicus/AM_005.jpg)

CELS
16-11-2006, 12:36
Are you sure that's pre-Heresy? At any rate, it's pretty cool :D

Voronwe[MQ]
16-11-2006, 13:44
It looks very ceremonial, and more for street-to-street fighting with its heavy armour etc, and although I don't think so, it could be a Praetorian. Anyway, it looks damn good.

Lord Inquisitor
16-11-2006, 14:25
The most parsimonious explanation of all the different types is simply that Praetorians aren't a specific class ... they're the AdMech's designation for true battle servitors. As such, any servitor designed expressly for combat within the Adeptus Mechanicus armies is a Praetorian.

As well as the sources already cited (note that the Adeptus Mechanicus Titan Legion list is still in development - I've lobbied for bigger guns on the servitors), Magos Bure in Xenos deploys "stalker" combat servitors which are almost certainly a variety of Praetorian. The Inquisitor rulebook also has a short story at the front (which isn't in the LRB) which has a description and illustration of two large combat-guard servitors which, again, are probably Praetorians without being named as such.

Personally I like the "stalker" description (which conforms to the illustration in the Inquisitor book and the description in Deus Ex Mechanicus), which is something like the Ed209 or a penitent engine with lots of extra armour and big guns.

Finally, the gun- and combat-servitors in 40K aren't really Praetorians in all likelihood: they're multi-task servitors equipped with combat programming and weaponry. True Praetorians are much bigger and scarier!

I'm converting a squadron of Praetorians: I'm going to "counts as" as sentinels (with combat blades) for game purposes, they're going to be of similar size and armament.

Xisor
16-11-2006, 15:16
Personal projections:

Anargo Sector's Version: Meh. Nice imagery, but a bit out of touch with the Mechanicus, IMO.

The Published (and therefore canonical) Version: I still prefer it.

They're cyborgs of some form. Essentially servitors with alot of effort and forethought going into them.

Proposal: Anargo Sector's Praetorians are adopted as a noted variant or specialisation of the regular 'Praetorian' Archtype. That is: they fit the description (and they do already!).

Given the variance of the Mechanicus, in that two Escorts rarely look the same, let alone anything else, I see no hesitation in accomodating both. The 'standard' canonical form of the Praetorian is a 'kitted out cyborg' or 'heavy combat servitor'. The 'uniform sleek black' just seems wrong for the 'across the board' definition.

Not bad, just wrong. ;)

Change the name to Anargo Pattern CCVI Class Strike Praetorian and you're onto a winner!

Xisor

EDIT:
Finally, the gun- and combat-servitors in 40K aren't really Praetorians in all likelihood: they're multi-task servitors equipped with combat programming and weaponry. True Praetorians are much bigger and scarier!

Multi-task servitors aren't too common, in fact: they're horribly rare. Gun and Battle servitors aren't very much in the multi tasking business. How? Well: they fight. That's all they do. Sure they can move, track targets, take cover, but in Mechanicus terms I'd believe that is still mono-task. How often do you get a Servitor you can have a 'conversation' (information exchange) with about the precision of the dating methods used to analyse the hood of St Cansta whilst simultaneously using it as a dedicated bodyguard and allowing it to retain the technical readouts for your battlestation?

Not often.

Galvatron
16-11-2006, 15:19
That photobucket album is great.

By the way. this one picture has what is obviously a Praetorian (bottom left):
http://s76.photobucket.com/albums/j23/Lleman_Russ/HH3/Adeptus%20Mechanicus/?action=view&current=AM_004.jpg

I like the idea of using sentinels as praetorians. I've got a role for my sentinels, however. Robots!

I'm using the the old (not the beret) storm troopers as my skitarii (grenadiers). No hood conversions for them. They're not tech priests, and as such, I don't think its right. Not to mention, it looks a little impractical and also a little... I don't know... campy. Heavy weapon platoons will be sagitarii, tanks will be cataphractarii, robots will use sentinel rules. A bunch of techpriests and servitors. Hq will be a kitted out heroic senior officer (magos) and a honorifica psyker with the lightning power (electro priest). Praetorians will either be ogryns or a marine squad of some kind. Perhaps deathwatch (exotic weapons) With a more than cyborg look than iron hands.

Brother Smith
16-11-2006, 15:30
I always saw them as experimental test beds used in combat.

As for Anargo Sector version, they are great, but don't call them Praetorians. Keep them, just start that fluff from scratch!

Minister
16-11-2006, 16:37
We really do need a name for the Skitarii elite (not the Hypaspists).


By the way. this one picture has what is obviously a Praetorian (bottom left):
Which one?

Galvatron
16-11-2006, 18:18
Wups, I didnt do the link right.

I've edited the post.

Stahlgeist
16-11-2006, 18:24
We really do need a name for the Skitarii elite (not the Hypaspists).


Since so many AM army ranks have been borrowed from Gene Wolfe's Shadow of the Torturer series, how about "Peltasti"? Their commanders could be "Hipparchs" - or that would be more accurate for the Praetorians maybe.

Galvatron
16-11-2006, 18:50
I was under the impression that Hypaspists are just the Skitarii infantry. Nothing elite about them, but certainly more capable than normal guard.

t-tauri
16-11-2006, 18:55
Since so many AM army ranks have been borrowed from Gene Wolfe's Shadow of the Torturer series, how about "Peltasti"? Their commanders could be "Hippachs" - or that would be more accurate for the Praetorians maybe.They're actually from Alexandrian Macedonian Greek for the most part.

The elite skitarii are Praetorians. Like the Roman Praetorian guard protecting the Emperor, they protect the Tech Priests. I believe they vary and size and in weaponry ranging from human to Ogryn sized depending on the envisaged role for the troops. Since they're cloned/vat-grown they'll be able to integrate cybernetic and genetic modifications during development as well as combat programming.

Point defence, heavy weapon and security models will be the Ogryn sized variants, others for general combat and bodyguard use will be more human sized.

Lord Inquisitor
16-11-2006, 18:58
Multi-task servitors aren't too common, in fact: they're horribly rare. Gun and Battle servitors aren't very much in the multi tasking business. How? Well: they fight. That's all they do. Sure they can move, track targets, take cover, but in Mechanicus terms I'd believe that is still mono-task. How often do you get a Servitor you can have a 'conversation' (information exchange) with about the precision of the dating methods used to analyse the hood of St Cansta whilst simultaneously using it as a dedicated bodyguard and allowing it to retain the technical readouts for your battlestation?

Not often.
There's a terminology issue here: I wasn't referring to a true multi-task servitor that can necessarily hold a conversation at dinner or adapt to any given situation: much more a versitile servitor chassis, if you like, which can be adapted. For example, lost your last Praetorian? Grab one of your technical servitors, download a new set of operating instructions and bolt on a heavy bolter... He may well no longer be able to fufil his original function, but he's still got the capacity for multiple tasks ("multi-task-capable," perhaps?). Which isn't to say that combat/gun servitors couldn't be true multi-tasks equipped with weaponry either!

So I should have said these sorts of servitors are made from multi-task, refitted menial or altered monotask servitors. The Explorator article, for example, describes that combat-servitors are often originally mono-task menial servitors that have been modified for combat.

My point being the distinction between true Praetorians (which are expressly designed as military-grade battle servitors) and combat/gun servitors which are usually adapted to perform the same roles.

Minister
16-11-2006, 19:38
There's a terminology issue here: I wasn't referring to a true multi-task servitor that can necessarily hold a conversation at dinner or adapt to any given situation: much more a versitile servitor chassis, if you like, which can be adapted. For example, lost your last Praetorian? Grab one of your technical servitors, download a new set of operating instructions and bolt on a heavy bolter... He may well no longer be able to fufil his original function, but he's still got the capacity for multiple tasks ("multi-task-capable," perhaps?). Which isn't to say that combat/gun servitors couldn't be true multi-tasks equipped with weaponry either!

So I should have said these sorts of servitors are made from multi-task, refitted menial or altered monotask servitors. The Explorator article, for example, describes that combat-servitors are often originally mono-task menial servitors that have been modified for combat.

My point being the distinction between true Praetorians (which are expressly designed as military-grade battle servitors) and combat/gun servitors which are usually adapted to perform the same roles.
Hmmm...

Multitask servitors are posessed of at least one limb capable of human hand simulation (or indeed one or more unaltered original arms) and programing that allows you to say things like "go get those boxes" or "attatch the fuel lines". Monotasks would be those which are incapable, through programing or design, of doing anything other than their assigned task. Servitor diggers, loaders, gunners, manufacturers and whotnot, for the most part. Combat servitors are another thing entirely, as they need rather complex programing (and even then generally need to be directed by a Tech-Priest.

The Gun/Colse Combat servitors from the army lists are combat models. They may not be the most advanced going, but they are still combat servitors. The Praetorians, by contrast, are heavy combat servitors. Same principle, but better built and better programmed.

I was under the impression that Hypaspists are just the Skitarii infantry. Nothing elite about them, but certainly more capable than normal guard.
The Hypaspists are equivelant to the better trained and equipped Guard units, yes. What we need a name for is the ones equivelant to Stormtroopers/Grenadiers.

carl
16-11-2006, 20:06
It's worth bearing in mind that a Praetorian could look like anything really, and could be VERY heavily armed.

Let me use an example i thought up for the inquisitor rules long before the servitor rules came out.

The fluff on this thing has him as a well equipped behemoth. He's got 2 shoulder mounted multi-tube missile systems backed up by two arms coming from the shoulders, 1 equipped with a Multi-Melta, the other with an assault cannon. He has a lower Pair of Arms attached at abdomen level which each carry a massive powered eviscator, (basically a Chainfist variant in simplistic terms).

It has massive amounts of Bionics fitted in addition to combat drug glands to push it's biological components to it's limits. The combination of Bionics and sheer size and toughness means it's even harder to take out than a SM in Power amour. It then couples this with heavy duty armour plating over the top that’s easily the equal alone of termie armour. This is coupled with using the massive volume of the big track section to mount a man portable power-field generator with enhanced power supply to allow for prolonged operation without depleting the power reserves.

All this along with a built in fire control system consisting of a separate mini-logic-engine for each weapon that is linked to the motor control of the arm/mount it's on and is connected to a sighting device looking down the length of the barrel. These are in turn connected to a main fire-control-logic engine which assigns each sub engine a target and points the weapon in the approximate direction of the target, than hands fine tuning over to the separate fire control engine. The main fire control is in turn linked to the main brain which perform tactical/strategic analysis’s of the situation and assigns weapons and targets based on it's conclusions.

It would also have advanced stabilisation systems, auspices and gunfights as well as who knows what other tech added on.

Overall the things probably tougher than a predator and a lot more heavily armed to boot. Plus the bionics and fire control would give it an accuracy and ability to pick out weak spots no SM could hope to match.

My Point: A praetorian on tracks doesn’t have to be a big dumb thing with a couple of inaccurate weapons. It can be a rolling miniature titan if you want.

Stahlgeist
16-11-2006, 22:04
They're actually from Alexandrian Macedonian Greek for the most part.

Originally, yes.

But the sheer number of them that also appear in SotT lead me to believe that someone in GW is a big fan of Gene Wolfe's series.

Has "Talus" been used in the AM nomenclature? It's a large tank-like sentry system with arms and a head, and some autonomy.

Lord Inquisitor
16-11-2006, 23:44
Hmmm...
Multitask servitors are posessed of at least one limb capable of human hand simulation (or indeed one or more unaltered original arms) and programing that allows you to say things like "go get those boxes" or "attatch the fuel lines". Monotasks would be those which are incapable, through programing or design, of doing anything other than their assigned task. Servitor diggers, loaders, gunners, manufacturers and whotnot, for the most part. Combat servitors are another thing entirely, as they need rather complex programing (and even then generally need to be directed by a Tech-Priest.
In short, a multi-task is ... able to perform multiple tasks? ;) Yes, I know - what I meant was a type of servitor that could be modified (both physical restructure and altered programming) to change it's primary purpose, as opposed to a mono-task that is hardwired to a single function.


The Gun/Colse Combat servitors from the army lists are combat models. They may not be the most advanced going, but they are still combat servitors. The Praetorians, by contrast, are heavy combat servitors. Same principle, but better built and better programmed.
They are certainly 'combat models' but my point was that gun/combat servitors are not necessarily expressly designed to be combat units and can be converted from other types of servitor, while Praetorians always are designed for war - but yeah, the main difference is that Praetorians are true 'military-grade' battle-servitors.

Galvatron
17-11-2006, 03:18
So would praetorians be able to function with a form of autonomy should a mission go completely awry? Or would they sit dumbfounded like servitors? What kind of capabilities do they have? I guess what I'm asking everyone is do you think that their expanded programming allows for open ended thought to a degree?

Or is this aspect of them more or less remotely controlled by a tech priest monitoring the action? Kinda like air traffic controllers of sorts.

As for the multi-tasking versus combat/gun servitor discussion, I tend to lean in the direction of combat/gun servitors being specifically made for war, rather than being regular servitors but retooled and reprogramed for war. Just because GW makes a specific distinction between the two types.

Minister
17-11-2006, 11:39
Also because the Mechanicus is more likely to just make more servitors rather than refiting old ones...

By the looks of it Praetorians are liable to perform basic battlefield thinking. Tell them to take and hold a hill and they will advance, shoot the opposition and engage the foe in combat and then remain on the hill giving fire and defending themselves in combat. What they will not do is realise that there's a nearby cluster of ruins that will serve as better cover, or pull back when the opposition brings up overwhelming force.

t-tauri
17-11-2006, 15:44
Praetorians will be just as capable of making autonomous military decisions in most cases. I'd think of them as Paras or Royal Marines with biological and cybernetic add ons. Well trained, motivated, valued and armed to the teeth. I'd think the Mechanicus would leave most of the higher brain functions intact simply because they'd be more versatile and effective soldiers. Elite troops aren't brain damaged.

Basic battlefield grunt work with limited programming options is the realm of the Legio Cybernetica robots. Advances against impossible odds are where fearless constructs come in.

I'm sure that the Adeptus Mechanicus will, in times of emergency, be able to turn almost anything into a combat servitor. Take off the drill arm, bolt on a heavy bolter and switch a construction programme for a combat and target priority selection version and off Servitor Bob the Builder goes into combat. Not as effective or sacred as a robot but cheaper and expendable.

deversnik
17-11-2006, 15:57
they're just big gun and combat servitors often with tracks or mechanical legs, mindless heavy weapon drones.

Minister
17-11-2006, 16:00
Praetorians will be just as capable of making autonomous military decisions in most cases. I'd think of them as Paras or Royal Marines with biological and cybernetic add ons. Well trained, motivated, valued and armed to the teeth. I'd think the Mechanicus would leave most of the higher brain functions intact simply because they'd be more versatile and effective soldiers. Elite troops aren't brain damaged.
Except that vat-grown servitors have no higher brain functions in the first place, or at least those that they do have are not developed. The eilte of hte Skitarii would certainly fit the description above, but every indication of the Praetorians has placed them as near-automatons, usually under the direct controll of a Mechanicus adept.

Xisor
17-11-2006, 16:04
I think it's safe to say me and Minister (at least) agree on this:

Praetorians are not 'Super Tech Guard' they're heavy combat servitors. There can be Super Tech Guard too (in power armour if need be), but that's not what Praetorians are. They're simply tough and scary beasts.

Xisor

deversnik
17-11-2006, 16:08
they're exactly the same as normal weapons servitors just bigger and can mount heavier weapons.

i imagine high level Adeptus Mechanicus (i'm thinking an Adeptus Mechanicus Inquistor warband <the game now i mean>) might have some extremely hardcore Skitarii elite bodyguards, but thats not what Praetorians are.

carl
17-11-2006, 16:23
Also as I noted the sheer mass of a Praetorian coupled with it's bionics and natural toughness would allow it to be extremely heavily armoured, and easily include fore-field systems, on top of that theirs the simple fact that it doesn’t have to have 2 arms and may well have shoulder mounted weaponry. In addition, the sheer size means any CC weaponry may have built in secondary shooting weapons in a similar manner to a dread. It's also certain to have masses of Auspexes and gun sights.

Just because it's a big dumb thing doesn’t mean it can't slaughter it's way through an entire platoon of IG on it's own if it's given the instruction to do so. As noted, I view them as miniaturised titans in effect. As such, they are quite capable of matching a MBT in some respects, yet are much smaller.

Of course they will have their own weakness, but being big and dumb doesn’t stop them ripping entire squads apart with a gesture, they just do it in a very brutish way:p.

Brother Smith
17-11-2006, 16:29
Why would they be dumb?

Are you people retarded? It's the *******' Mechanicus! They would definately put in advanced programs into the vat-grown ones, they are elites and worth the effort.

The cyborg ones would be more akin to super-tech guard in my opinion, and wouldn't need programs. Much.

Remember the AdMech is against (usually) AI, NOT cogitator programs and routines. If you can program a lump of flesh to walk, you can program it to realise what cover is.

Much like how we can put advanced 'ai' into games, but haven't yet mastered the AI needed for our robots in development.

Battle programs are in fact MUCH easier to program than movement programs, which ALL servitors have. Regular servitors don't have 'thinking' and tactical analysis programs because they don't need them to perform their roles, not because the AdMech can't do it.

/Rant over.

deversnik
17-11-2006, 16:31
they just servitors. huge Heavy Plasma Gun toting servitors but just servitors.

Brother Smith
17-11-2006, 16:33
they just servitors. huge Heavy Plasma Gun toting servitors but just servitors.

No, no they aren't.

They are either Vat-Grown weapon test beds, or super-elite tech guard chosen to be test beds for weapons.

Some fluff states they have tracks, some says otherwise. Nowhere does it say they are mere servitors.

deversnik
17-11-2006, 16:40
not strictly canon reference but there are canon fluff references for this

http://wh40k.lexicanum.com/wiki/Praetorian_Servitors

if i was going to model one, the tracks off the back of an Ork wartruk, an Ogryn Torso, one arm removed for a heavy weapon the other some kind of chain whip, all types of wire and general servitor type cyborg look, jaw removed for a weapons targeter, bits of autoreactive plate armour with all diodes under it, but pallid muscled flesh still largely visible on it, i'm thinking of the Gun Servitor models that go with the new TechMarines but bigger and with tracks or a scaled down version of Defiler legs

Brother Smith
17-11-2006, 17:25
So all the other, better and more official fluff is now obselete?

Minister
17-11-2006, 17:39
No, no they aren't.

They are either Vat-Grown weapon test beds, or super-elite tech guard chosen to be test beds for weapons.

Some fluff states they have tracks, some says otherwise. Nowhere does it say they are mere servitors.
Nothing anywhere has placed them at Tech-Guard, to the best of my knowledge, and the only reference to them being anything other than Servitors (who are mindless by definition) that I have seen was in a single Citadel Journal (later Firepower) article as trial rules, and the author later made their Servitor status clear in other works on the same topic.

Deus Ex Mechanicus (Andy Chambers) has them as Servitors. As does the novel Legacy, as does the Explorators article for Inquisitor.

Brother Smith
17-11-2006, 17:43
Nothing anywhere has placed them at Tech-Guard, to the best of my knowledge, and the only reference to them being anything other than Servitors (who are mindless by definition) that I have seen was in a single Citadel Journal (later Firepower) article as trial rules, and the author later made their Servitor status clear in other works on the same topic.

Deus Ex Mechanicus (Andy Chambers) has them as Servitors. As does the novel Legacy, as does the Explorators article for Inquisitor.

Ok so that accepted, why wouldn't they be combat smart?

t-tauri
17-11-2006, 17:50
Except that vat-grown servitors have no higher brain functions in the first place, or at least those that they do have are not developed. The eilte of hte Skitarii would certainly fit the description above, but every indication of the Praetorians has placed them as near-automatons, usually under the direct controll of a Mechanicus adept.

The only official descriptions of Praetorians are the Epic lists. The CJ21 list has them as elite tech guard, the latest version (http://www.specialist-games.com/assets/AMTLv2.pdf) has this description

Praetorian Combat Servitors
Praetorians are intended to provide complete protection for the Tech-priest on the battlefield. They are elite cyborgs warriors which bodyguard the Magos and protect temples, shrines and other facilities threatened with direct attack. Heavily armed and armoured they typically mass over twice the bulk of a man or more, with tracks or jointed legs to carry their immense weight. Some Praetorians are created from vat-grown giants or mind-scrubbed Ogryns. All are designed to intimidate and, if necessary, obliterate."Elite cyborg warriors" not vat grown vegetables.

From Tim Huckleberry's Adeptus Mechanicus Explorator list

Praetorians
Assigned to a Tech-Priest for his protection and to aid him on the Quest, Praetorians are specially augmented Servitors designed for only one task – combat. They excel at this function, and are the warrior elite of the Adeptus Mechanicus when if goes to war for the glory of Mars and the Machine God.

All the sources I'm aware of support the Praetorians as the elite of the Tech Guard not simply moronic hulking plasma gun luggers. Deus Ex Machina has some heavily programmed ones but I'd be interested in any quotes from official sources which support any view other than Praetorians (named for elite Roman troops) being the Techguard elite.

Galvatron
17-11-2006, 19:05
I tend to agree with t-tauri on this.

GW tends to contradict itself (hardly new). But to do so in one paragraph? As inspector gadget would say, wowzers. They are elite cyber warriors made from mind scrubbed ogryns? Ok, Ogryns aren't that aware to begin with. I guess I find their use superfluous with robots if they are indeed just big brutes with big guns.

If Praetorians are big with big guns, big armor, and extremely simple minds how can they be elite? Do you consider bouncers elite? They're usually big and can kick some ass, but in general (or at least in my experience) they are unintelligent. Would you consider a guy from the SAS or Delta Force elite? You can't just be any grunt or bonehead to get into those. My point is that praetorians must need some sort of intelligence beyond a regular or even combat servitors in order for them to be elite. Mind scrubbed ogryns makes this damn near impossible in my opinion.

I guess what I'm trying to say is, I think it would be necessary for a praetorian to identify something outside of his programing and act on whatever that something is in order for him to be elite. GW insists that they are elite, however, their description leaves alot to be desired.
I for one, am sticking with the Anargo Sector Project idea. They hit the nail on the head as far as I'm concerned and theres nothing that GW suggests that praetorians couldn't be like that. Segmented legs, check, heavy armor, check, bigger than a human, check, exotic weapons, check, elite, check.

Hell they could even be just cybernetically enhanced ogryns and I'd be fine with it. But to say that they are mind scrubbed ogryns and are elite is going too far.

Now that I look at this discussion, it seems the big problem is what defines a servitor.

Are servitors mindless with simple programming? Are servitors capable of autonomous thought to a limited degree? Or is sevitor a general designation for cybernetically altered human/abhuman under the control of another?

I don't think there is an answer to that. So I guess it comes down to point of view.

Minister
17-11-2006, 19:12
For one thing the lack of any mention of the Tech-Guard (under that name or the Skitarii) in any of the sources you have mentioned with reference to the Praetorians (other than that they serve alongside them) (particularly not in the sections quoted). Note also that the CJ/Firepower list is no more official than the Squats lists of the same era, nor is it any more official than the more recent sources elsewhere (if one were a codex ore rulebook list and the other a PDF or SG magazine article it would be, but it is not).


Seing as that they are Servitors, this places them as (as Codex Imperialis put it) "physically strong and robust their minds are blank and incapable of development or of feeling much pain".

Minister
17-11-2006, 19:15
If Praetorians are big with big guns, big armor, and extremely simple minds how can they be elite?
Elite in the sense of being more advanced technologies and systems on a heavier frame than the standard Combat Servitors. That they require direction is irrelevant to their ability to confront the foe.

Lord Inquisitor
17-11-2006, 19:50
Actually, both the Epic list and the lexicanium both quote (pretty much verbatum) the description of Praetorians from the Inquisitor article by Gav Thorpe on Explorator Warbands (http://www.specialist-games.com/assets/emplorwarband.pdf).

The original text is:

Praetorian Servitors
Praetorians are intended to provide complete protection for the Techpriest on the battlefield. They are elite cyborg warriors which bodyguard the Magos and protect temples, shrines and other facilities threatened with direct attack. Heavily armed and armoured they typically mass over twice the bulk of a man or more, with tracks or jointed legs to carry their immense weight. Some Praetorians are created from vat-grown giants or mind-scrubbed Ogryns. All are designed to intimidate, and if necessary, obliterate.

Note also that the rules are that they obey standard programming unless otherwise ordered. Clearly, though, they must have quite sophisticated target- and threat-recognition abilities.

They are obviously not intelligent - a Sagacity of 20 in Inquisitor is nothing to write home about! - but their response to threats can be as complex as their programming allows, and they may be able to react swiftly to any number of defined battlefield situations. Actual situation-dependent tactical maneuvering will be up to the controlling tech-priest, however.

deversnik
18-11-2006, 12:33
Praetorian's are large combat servitors, more heavily armed and armoured but as servitors aren't intelligent. The Inquistor stats are the best guidline for this. if you want to have intelligent elite techguard cyborgs you just can't call them Praetorians because it confuses them with this class of servitor

t-tauri
18-11-2006, 13:30
Skitarii Legions and Praetorians
The term Skitarii refers to these regiments as a whole, but the different troops that make up their infantry and tank columns also have ancient titles which refer to their battlefield role and their position within the Adeptus Mechanicus. The Hypaspysts form the standard infantry squads, and are armed with lasguns. Heavy Weapons specialists earn the title of Sagitari, while the honoured tank crews are dubbed Cataphracts and are afforded a great deal of respect for their close links with their machines. The Ballisterai are the artillerists of the Skitarii, experts at raining down fire at extreme long range. The Ballisterai field large, often experimental weapons, designed to smash through tanks and enemy strongholds.
Then there are the Praetorians, biologically and bionicly enhanced warriors, with brain stem implants, neural linked processors and alloy reinforced skeletons. Unlike Space Marines who are genetically altered from an early age, the Praetorians are fully grown men who act as walking test beds for the rediscovered technologies of the Imperium. They are fearsome fighters whose devotion to the Machine-God makes them zealous combatants willing to fight to the death. They are the terror troops of the Adeptus Mechanicus, enforcing the will of the Machine God wherever they are deployed. The author of the Citadel Journal list? Gav Thorpe.

The inquisitor article, while clearly saying they're servitors, squeezes the praetorians into a section on servitors as if they've been tacked on at the end.

The whole etymology of Praetorian (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Praetorian_Guard) would suggest elite troops.

Given the use of ancient military terms in fairly accurate ways for the rest of the tech guard it's unlikely to be meant in an ironic sense for the Praetorians. All the early evidence points at them as the elite of the tech guard, as does Tim Huckleberry's list which comes from inside GW.

I haven't had a look through the Horus Heresy artbooks but I'm sure a few of the cards in there have Praetorian units on. I'm happy with the Praetorians as the elite of the Tech Guard.

CELS
18-11-2006, 13:44
Elite in the sense of being more advanced technologies and systems on a heavier frame than the standard Combat Servitors. That they require direction is irrelevant to their ability to confront the foe.
Doesn't 'elite' in military terms normally refer to higher skills, abilities and/or experience, as opposed to just having better equipment?


The whole etymology of Praetorian (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Praetorian_Guard) would suggest elite troops.
Agreed.


Given the use of ancient military terms in fairly accurate ways for the rest of the tech guard it's unlikely to be meant in an ironic sense for the Praetorians. All the early evidence points at them as the elite of the tech guard, as does Tim Huckleberry's list which comes from inside GW.
I wouldn't go as far as saying that they must be a part of the Skitarii, since the parapgrah you quoted from Citadel Journal doesn't really suggest whether or not the Praetorians belong to the Skitarii. It just says "the Skitarii Legions and Praetorians".

You could argue that the Praetorians must be Tech Guard, since they are mentioned along with the other Tech Guard units, but the obvious counter-argument is that they're mentioned in a seperate paragrahp, and are even mentioned seperately in the heading.



Seing as that they are Servitors, this places them as (as Codex Imperialis put it) "physically strong and robust their minds are blank and incapable of development or of feeling much pain".
This is quite a vague statement though. How can you even make a mind incapable of development? Even if you destroy centers of the brain that are vital to forming new memories, a human can still learn and develop. A blank mind is also rather vague, since a lot of martial artists and people who meditate are also able to have a blank mind. Does this mean Praetorians are stupid, or simply that they have been psycho-conditioned to go into a trance in battle?

Lord Inquisitor
20-11-2006, 19:40
The author of the Citadel Journal list? Gav Thorpe.
So... clearly the concept of the Praetorian has changed since then!


The inquisitor article, while clearly saying they're servitors, squeezes the praetorians into a section on servitors as if they've been tacked on at the end.
Hardly! The Praetorian Servitor rules take up about a third of the box on servitors, more space than any other type of servitor.


All the early evidence points at them as the elite of the tech guard, as does Tim Huckleberry's list which comes from inside GW... I'm happy with the Praetorians as the elite of the Tech Guard.
The background changes - you're referring to a nine-year-old list that's simply obsolete. And you just said that Tim Huckleberry's list describes them as servitors.

Which isn't to say that Elite Skitarii (the Cirian Legacy sourcebook for Inquisitor has a lot of detail on the Skitarii and names the elite Skitarii rather unimaginatively as "Elite Skitarii") don't exist, and the idea of disposable troops for the testing of experimental weaponry is entertaining (would make for an interesting character in Inquisitor.)

DantesInferno
21-11-2006, 03:01
Doesn't 'elite' in military terms normally refer to higher skills, abilities and/or experience, as opposed to just having better equipment?

The point of course being that it is the equipment of a servitor, such as its movement, combat and targetting programs, which determines the levels of its skills.

Praetorians, along with heavier weaponry and armour, also have better combat software.

I'm of the opinion that the quality of the original brain doesn't make that much of a difference once the mind-scrubbing has taken place, it's all about the quality of the programming the servitor is equipped with. So there wouldn't be any reason not to use mind-scrubbed Ogryns. for example, particularly considering their extra mass.

Lord Malek The Red Knight
22-11-2006, 23:39
hey Galvatron - your thread has inspired me to put pen to paper and express how i feel Praetorians would/could work with some home-brew rules. feel free to check it out:

Rules Development Forum
"40K - Adeptus Mechanicus Praetorian Ideas..."
http://warseer.com/forums/showthread.php?t=57570

cheers :)

~ Tim

GavT
24-11-2006, 11:33
As perpetrator of many of the quoted sources, perhaps I might settle this matter amicably (and possibly with a bit of background shuffling and wordplay :p )

In the original article (with names inspired by classical armies, not The Torturer's Tale - fine read though it is), the Praetorians were super-tech guard. Later development by other members of the team placed much greater emphasis on combat servitors in the armies of the Ad Mech, and Praetorians were shifted to be bad-ass combat servitors. I see neither as being mutually exclusive. The term Prateorian is applied by the Adeptus Mechanicus to any fighting unit, or member of a fighting unit, that is a step above the ordinary Skitarii, whether it be a super combat servitor, or highly trained tech guard.

Regarding intelligence, part of the point of using organic brains in servitors is so that senses and rudimentary functions (such as spatial awareness and recognition) don't have to be programmed into them. Where necessary, servitors will retain these traits (if mind-scrubbed adults) or learn them mucht he same way as babies do. Programming of servitors mainly covers behaviour rather than intelligence - the brain's inside can be used to do all he boring day-to-day stuff! I like to think of the Preatorian servitors being quite clever, battlefield-wise, but not particularly good conversationalists at dinner parties. If only because big=dumb is a cliché used elsewhere in the Imperium.

GAV

CELS
24-11-2006, 19:24
Ah, thanks for clearing that up. Gotta love it when people at GW include the old fluff in their view, eventhough alternative stuff has popped up later. I'll be updating my article then. Shame about the dinner parties though.

Stahlgeist
26-11-2006, 21:13
As perpetrator of many of the quoted sources, perhaps I might settle this matter amicably (and possibly with a bit of background shuffling and wordplay :p )

In the original article (with names inspired by classical armies, not The Torturer's Tale - fine read though it is),

GAV

I stand corrected - in fact, I was going to retract my supposition, because a quick re-read shows none of the words I thought were there!

Lord_Boofhead
29-05-2007, 00:39
1.) Anargo Sector Project: They are humans grown in laboratories at secret locations on forgeworlds. They are cybernetically enhanced to an extreme degree. Specifically for military function. They wear jet-black power armor equivilent with only the AdMech head on the pads for identification. Basically the AdMech's version of a marine. Except instead of using genetics and enhanced training to enhance the combat prowess, they use cybernetics and advanced programming. Two ways to achieve the same goal, roughly. They are also about the same size as a marine, perhaps a little larger. They also conduct alot of their operations via teleport. They are also seen escorting important AdMech as bodyguards. Servitors they may be, but not as brain dead, and certainly more advanced.
Check it out here! http://wiki.anargo-sector.net/index.php?title=Adeptus_Mechanicus


This is totaly pulled out of that guys butt and contradicts all of the official fluff and seems to be an attempt at justifying cheese mongering! Why must people insist on wacking everything in power armour, we have the marines and the sisters and the uper escelons of the Ad Mech and Inquisitors, thats more than enough, Power armour is rare guys!

Also those sholder pads are a marine thing, If you take a look at Inquisitor you realise that Marine Power armour is much thicker and heavier that the power armour worn by others.

[edit] The first 2 paragraphs are actualy from Gav's awsome Epic list and are cannon! The rest is drek!



2.) Inquisitor: They are can also be grown in laboratories, but "mind-scrubbed" ogryns are also used; again much more massive than a normal man. No power armor mentioned. However, it does say that they are "extremely armored". Tracks or segmented mechanical legs are used for movement. They also more closely resemble regular servitors, just beefed up with better combat capacity. Again better programming than regular servitors is suggested.
Check it out here! http://www.specialist-games.com/assets/emplorwarband.pdf

Now for the discussion. Both of the above seem plausible. The Inquisitor one is more "official" than the Anargo Sector Project. Be that as it may, the Anargo Sector Project's description totally crushes the Inquitor description when it comes to rule of cool. Silent, efficient, cyborg shock troops, to me at least, is way cooler than semi-conscious ogryns with built-in plasma cannon and targeters. I can also see a tracked ogryn tipping over and looking extremly goofy. Not to mention how it would bobble around on rough ground like a remote control car.


The origional fluff had them as Cyborg troopers but not power armoured muppets. Pluss Pretorians are customised for the terain. So yeah no traks for rough terain.

Lord_Boofhead
29-05-2007, 01:03
Tim Huckleberry's list which comes from inside GW.

Erm no, Tim as talented as he is does not work for games design, he works for US mail order IIRC. As such his list is not official unless like the (very good) genestealer cult list GW decides to sanction it. Till then its no more cannon/official as the ramblings of you or I, a fact that Tim will haply point out himself!

Lord_Boofhead
29-05-2007, 01:44
I wrote the ASP fluff on servitors, and it is in this case absolutely fanfic which, although inspired by fluff, shouldn't be considered canon. That can be said about a lot of ASP stuff really, as we tend to start with canon and then tweak things slightly when we're not completely satisfied with GW's 'fluff'. Glad you liked it, by the way.


So you know better than the people who get paid to do that for a living! Meh! Not egotistical in any way are we?


Are you sure that's pre-Heresy? At any rate, it's pretty cool :D

Well its from the Horus Heresy CCG and very little tech changed during the heresy!


Personal projections:

Anargo Sector's Version: Meh. Nice imagery, but a bit out of touch with the Mechanicus, IMO.

The Published (and therefore canonical) Version: I still prefer it.

They're cyborgs of some form. Essentially servitors with alot of effort and forethought going into them.

I like your style sir I like your style!

CELS
29-05-2007, 02:32
So you know better than the people who get paid to do that for a living! Meh! not egotistiacl in any way are we?
:wtf:

I never said I know better than the people who do that for a living. I do have my own preferences though, and I do feel that we as fans have the choice of adding or even modifying the 40k background as we please, to make it more appealing to us. Whether this manifests in saying that "my chapter is the missing legion", or saying that "I think the Squats are still alive and kicking", or even "I prefer my Praetorians to look like this", it's all good.

Especially considering the leeway Gav just indicated in this thread, in regards to the nature of praetorians. So "meh" right back at you... :rolleyes:


Well its from the Horus Heresy CCG and very little tech changed during the heresy!
Well, when you look at how quickly Space Marine power armour changed, it seems quite plausible that other infantry equipment could have changed quickly during this period as well.

Oh, and there's really no reason to triple-post here. I suggest you familiarise yourself with the edit and delete functions.