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Marsekay
09-04-2005, 04:31
Assuming the size has no limits, and is dynamic therefore it has no set size, how many marines do you think are in it at one time on average?

How many marines would a chapter lend out at one time? if every chapter, given there are 1000 chapters, loaned 1 marine, this would make the Deathwatch standard chapter size.

Now imagine there were an average 5 from every chapter that would make the deathwatch rather huge. maybe being able to fragment itself.

Now if there were an average of ten (which would might possible as i assume there is more than 1000 chapters nowadays allowing for a higher and lower amount of marines to make the average.

Imagine the deathwatch fielding all the marines it has at once in one place.
We would be talking a Great crusade legion sized force. and thats not counting all the ancillery forces, inducted guard, sisters, inquisitors and the like.

Sounds like a party.

Nazguire
09-04-2005, 05:54
Methinks that the Deathwatch isn't so big. The Chapters don't ALL send a Marine or 10. I believe it is a very small Chapter with numbers fluctuating all the time, with 500 or so at max. It is a Strike Force, and it wouldn't be beneficial to keep asking all the Chapters "Hey give us more Marines" everytime a few die.

Rich
09-04-2005, 10:30
I wouldn't be surprised if it is very large - but it is by its nature largely fragmented and would rarely be gathered together in any force. I can see it being several thousand strong, but spread across the whole galaxy, not just concentrated around one chapter world or fleet. It is probably split into regional divisions (much like the segementum navies) for ease of organisation and so a particular sub-sector/sector/segmentum may only be able to raise a small number from those chapters in their locality.

The problem is, we don't really know that much about the Deathwath because until their codex is finalised there isn't that much fluff to go on, aside from their IA article.

Cypher
09-04-2005, 11:29
I see it as being akin to a reservist force. Marines that are part of the Deathwatch serve under their chapter unless they are called up. So I guess the answer would be "as many as are needed".

Brimstone
09-04-2005, 11:44
The Deathwatch isn't really a chapter though, more a collection of strike teams.

I'd imagine any support would come from within the ordo Xenos rather than the traditional chapter organisation.

As they are not covered under the Codex Astartes the total number could be theoretically unlimited.

salty
09-04-2005, 12:05
I agree with Brimstone and Rich, I always think of them as having over a thousand men, but spread really thinly across the length and breadth of the galaxy. Think about it, there are around 1000 chapters, so if each chapter supplies 1 man, thats 1000 men. Each squad of men is led by a SM Captain or an Inquisitor.

One hell of a tough fighting force.

Salty :)

Rich
09-04-2005, 14:29
I wouldn't be surprised if upper echelons are permanently seconded to the Deathwatch, so the Captains, Librarians etc. form a permanent force who never return to their original chapters (under usual circumstances - they would after all be required to train and lead strike forces, and it would be necessary to maintain a good base of experienced personnel).

Brimstone
09-04-2005, 14:34
The available background on the Deathwatch would tend to argue against that, Captain Bannon of the Imperial Fists for example.

I don't really see any need for upper echelons of command beyond this as they come under the command of the Ordo Xenos.

Amas Nagol
09-04-2005, 19:13
How would the Deathwatch retain any training methods and specialisation?

You could hardly have a human training marines how to kill Tyranid monstrous creatures.

I would assume they would retain some high ranking and/or long serving marines "for the greater good of the Imperium". If you look at the way all Marines are trained by their chapters, it is by grizzled Veterans, the same would most probably be true of the Death Watch.

Marsekay
10-04-2005, 06:16
The available background on the Deathwatch would tend to argue against that, Captain Bannon of the Imperial Fists for example.

I don't really see any need for upper echelons of command beyond this as they come under the command of the Ordo Xenos.

Whats the deal with captain Bannon? Where might i find some info on him?

Brimstone
10-04-2005, 06:21
Whats the deal with captain Bannon? Where might i find some info on him?

In the book Warriors of Ultramar.


How would the Deathwatch retain any training methods and specialisation?

You could hardly have a human training marines how to kill Tyranid monstrous creatures.

I would assume they would retain some high ranking and/or long serving marines "for the greater good of the Imperium". If you look at the way all Marines are trained by their chapters, it is by grizzled Veterans, the same would most probably be true of the Death Watch.

I'd probably imagine new inductee's into the DW will join veteran strike teams for their training before going on to form their own strike teams. Or prehaps veteran members move to a training role before rejoining their chapters.

Some training will be done by the OX but at least some would have to be by marines.

Inquisitor Engel
10-04-2005, 06:52
Or prehaps veteran members move to a training role before rejoining their chapters.
I think this is probably the most likely option, it makes the most sense. Even the Inquisitors or the Biologis specialists probably won't have that much on the fighting experience of Space Marines.

For some reason, the scene where Niel Patrick Harris shows one how to kill an Arachnid Warrior in Starship Troopers spring to mind in the first case.

t-tauri
10-04-2005, 07:58
I'd think there is some sort of permanent cadre of marines who have remained with the Deathwatch. Marines lost in time warps, those whose Chapter is lost or eliminated while they are on Deathwatch service, Marines who end up on the wrong side of the galaxy so it would take decades to return to the chapter homeworld, Loyalists from Chapters who have turned to Chaos, Dishonoured marines who for whatever reason can't serve with the Chapter (e.g. Ventris), Marines from Inquisition aligned Chapters. There are many reasons why someone could stay with the Deathwatch on a permanent basis.

Certainly they need a permanent staff of some sort to train the new inductees in Deathwatch techniques.

Brimstone
10-04-2005, 08:03
Marine away from their Chaper would still try to return if it took decades. Loyalists from Chaos tainted Chapters would probably be executed and most probably so would dishonoured marines.

After his little jaunt around the EoT I don't see any way of Ventris being allowed back into the organisation of the Inquisition.

Still don't see any need for a permanent staff.

=][=Danek=][=
10-04-2005, 09:57
I always understood that an Inquisitor is assigned to the training of each Deathwatch Kill-Team.

Rich
10-04-2005, 11:30
[=Danek=][=']I always understood that an Inquisitor is assigned to the training of each Deathwatch Kill-Team.

The problem with that is that marines are capable of fighting way and beyond that which is expected of a human, and as such their tactics often take this into account - Imperial Inquisitors are (largely) regular humans, and the extend to which they could train marines would be limited. You would need a hard cadre of marines to train others in particular techniques, even if adeptus biologis could instruct on the weak points of alien anatomy and so forth.

I'm assuming that Deathwatch scouts are akin to wolf scouts in the manner of being specialised marines, rather than marines in training. However, it does seem conceivable to me that certain chapters could have service in the deathwatch as part of their training - for example, sythes of the Emperor, and other chapters who regularly fight xenos, would appreciate the specialised training it would grant the novice marines.

=][=Danek=][=
10-04-2005, 15:57
The Crimson Fists also have strong ties to the Ordo Xenos,and many have served in the Deathwatch as well.And I've always wondered about the Red Hunters chapter being as them chapter symbol bears the =][=.

sulla
11-04-2005, 04:27
Bearing in mind that the majority of Deathwatch missions are not of the sort represented by 40K tabletop battles (i.e. many missions would be those where the deathwatch are outnumbered, outgunned and alone etc), it is likely that a very specific mindset would be required to excell in the deathwatch.

I imagine that a small number of marines would be so well suited to these roles that said marines would have their 'tour of duty' extended almost to the point of infinity (i.e. till they die).

I don't think deathwatch marines would require training from other deathwatch marines though. Battlefield knowledge and experience is where these veterans would be more required.

Typheron
11-04-2005, 10:32
I'm assuming that Deathwatch scouts are akin to wolf scouts in the manner of being specialised marines
From what i remember of the deathwatch fluff, they dont have scouts as there not actually a chapter. I would assume the OX have a list of some kind with all the possable candadates for a DW kill team on it.

Induvidual marines join the deathwatch as and when they are needed, got a lingering 'nid presence then check the list for those marines that are available and know a lot about killing 'nids.

Got to infiltrate a necron complex, check the list for SMs with time spent fighting them.

Training is probably not something that even happens as there all supposed to be the best of the best of the best, at least not in the conventional sence. Probably more hint swaping then anything else.

"Well ive found if you shoot it in that gangally long bit it stops fighting for a bit and cries..."
"shooting it in the head makes it die quicker, especially with hellfire shells"

that kind of stuff.

Rich
11-04-2005, 11:38
From what i remember of the deathwatch fluff, they dont have scouts as there not actually a chapter. I would assume the OX have a list of some kind with all the possable candadates for a DW kill team on it.
.

You're right, but Andy Chambers said at one point that the Deathwatch would have all marine choices (including scouts and terminators) represented; this may change now that AC is no longer working for GW, but I would imagine that it remains true. If you remember one of the earlier GW games, space crusade, that featured marine scouts aboard nid ships - I expect that they are thinking of introducing marine scouts in a similar role.

Sai-Lauren
11-04-2005, 12:15
Marine away from their Chaper would still try to return if it took decades. Loyalists from Chaos tainted Chapters would probably be executed and most probably so would dishonoured marines.

I'm not sure, I've always had this idea of marines who've basically been orphaned or exiled from their chapter acting kind of like Ronin - travelling the galaxy on a mission of personal redemption in some cases, others heading up something akin to mercenary companies and fighting for imperial causes, some will turn away, either becoming brigands, or falling to chaos, and still others might be employed by non-imperial planets or rogue traders as chief of their armed forces, or by inquisitors who're willing to ignore anything they may have done before.

A marine who stayed loyal whilst his chapter turned, and returned to the imperium would be rigourously interrogated, but if they can be proved to be pure, they might get sent on a penitent crusade of their own - maybe even part of the force hunting down their former chapter - after all, there's still been no official word on what happened to the crew of the Eisenstein when it reached Terra, some say they fought in the defence of the palace, some say they were either killed or imprisoned for the rest of their days.

Returning on topic, deathwatch scouts - assignment to the deathwatch is supposed to be a reward for great service. It's more likely that a scout performing such an act would be promoted to full marine rather than sent off to serve the Ordo Xenos, and even if they were, there's probably not enough getting sent to make a squad.
IMO, it's much more likely that those marines who act more independantly in the field (like the wolf scouts) who get assigned to the deathwatch would be classified as their scouts - taking the scouts battlefield role (such as snipers, infiltration and so on), but acting as individuals rather than as squads.

Rich
11-04-2005, 16:47
assignment to the deathwatch is supposed to be a reward for great service.

I've always wondered about that point. Sure, its the official line, but the Deathwatch works in a very different way to conventional marines, and must even take into account such heretical notions as using alien wargear and so forth. I have often wondered if in fact those marines sent to the Deathwatch are in fact more brilliant mavericks than the most dedicated members of the chapter - a case of send those marines who do not 'fit in' so well to the Deathwatch to see if it either matures them and helps them to re-join their battle-brethren in a better mindset appropriate to the chapter, or allow them to serve out their careers assisting the ordo xenos mwithout upsetting chapter affairs.

My support for this comes from the ragnar novels, where ragnar joins the wolfblades with other space wolves who have not fit in and are conveniently removed from the rest of the chapter to serve in an equally honourable and necessary but more unusual role, and that uriel ventris, unquestionably a maverick by ultramarine standards, was a serving member of the deathwatch. Certainly it seems that deathwatch service requires a degree more independentless and initiative than regular service.

=][=Danek=][=
13-04-2005, 15:56
I agree with that theory,Rich.
For such small Kill-Teams to operate so succesfully,each member would need to be able to think outside the box,and yet still be able to follow orders issued by thier Brother-Captain/Librarian to survive such insermountable odds.

Kzer-Za
17-04-2005, 15:12
I thought that Deathwatch was something you volunteered to do, like I believed Ventris mentioned he did in Warriors of Ultramar when taking in the Deathwatch captain...

Something like he had served his time with the Ordo Xenos and then returned to his company...

I believe it is important for the Ordo Xenos to have dedicated fighters who want to do the job, because they have to go into all kinds of hell-holes and if the marine wants nothing more than to return to his chapter he might function below his par.

Another thing is that the marines in the Ordo Xenos are specialists in fighting that particular foe...

Thus when an Ordo Xenos inquisitor knows he has some difficult mission he sends to all avaliable chapters for veterans willing and suited to fight against [insert alien race here] and then they are transferred there together... I believe it is a great honour for a chapter to be asked for volunteers, indicating that they are pure and good enough to stand against the ecliptic darkness that is the alien tide.

Since they already are veterans they need little extra training...

I do however agree with the notion of at least some of the upper levels staying with the deathwatch almost indefinately... These "Brother-Captains" and such IMO have personal issues against an alien race and thus "recruit" marines with the blessing or on the behest of inquisitors to aid them against the aliens at all times. Since this is the 42nd millenia and things are virtually stagnant they are never given as complete a victory over the alien race as they deem necessary to return to their chapter...
On the other hand you have people like Ventris who does return, so who knows...

I don't think that the Ordo Xenos have a great deal of scouts though, since they are supposed to be a gathering of the best xeno fighters the galaxy can muster at any and all times... Scouts are usually recruits and so wouldn't IMO be inducted until they are veterans...

On the same note I think this is the reducing factor about the deathwatch... They have the capacity to be very large, but because they only use veterans they don't really outgrow conventional chapters that much IMO...

Anyway... That's what I think of it... I guess we must wait until the codex arrives to find out...

Kzer-Za

Rich
17-04-2005, 16:30
Anyway... That's what I think of it... I guess we must wait until the codex arrives to find out...

Kzer-Za

Four years later....

On a more serious note, I think scouts would be a valuable component to the Deathwatch, whose missions are much more about gathering information (and therefore require a decent amount of stealth) as actual destruction of aliens. The Ordo Xenos afterall cannot afford war with every alien race at once, and in addition is always looking for the upper hand, be it by copying alien weaponry or by coming up with specially adapted weaponry/poison gas to wipe out entire alien communities, modified viruses and all.

I can see the Ordo Xenos being the ones to explore spacehulks, gather intelligence off of rogue traders and generally snoop round a lot more than the more brash and obvious elements of the ordos malleus and hereticus - after all, lets face it, the inquisitor book detailed quite alot of clandestine inquisitors and we have yet to see that reflected in one of the codexes to date. it would make sence if the xenos were made up of shadowy, silent types who kill by proxy and avoid a scrap mostly.

Farseerixirvost
23-03-2006, 20:28
I don't think deathwatch marines would require training from other deathwatch marines though. Battlefield knowledge and experience is where these veterans would be more required.

Except all the DW folks have True Grit, yet all the chapters that supply the DWKT members do not. So someone has gotta show the new arrivals how to hold a Bolter AND Chainsword at the same time.

The converse, IMHO, would be that most heading back to their chapter of origin would be like "man, this bolter AND chainsword thing is NOT what I read about in Codex Astartes - when I get home, this sword thing is going into the footlocker for a LONG time." :D And that's why SMs back at their chapter of origin "forget" that True Grit training they received while w/ the Deathwatch.

Leman Russ
23-03-2006, 20:39
The converse, IMHO, would be that most heading back to their chapter of origin would be like "man, this bolter AND chainsword thing is NOT what I read about in Codex Astartes - when I get home, this sword thing is going into the footlocker for a LONG time." :D And that's why SMs back at their chapter of origin "forget" that True Grit training they received while w/ the Deathwatch.
Well, that isn't the case with the Sons of Russ, we'd be all like "Dude, there was like this HUGE alien and it slaughtered everyone cause they were so "Crapimgonnadiecauseihaventgothtehangofthisstupidfi ringonehandedstuff *squelch*" but I was like "Easy..." and killed all the Xenos....
PASS THE ALE UGLY!" :rolleyes:

But as for the size, my view is that *ahem* more codex chapters and those with less dogged relationships with the Ordo Xenos would send more Marines than less orthodox chapters, though the Wolves would gladly jump at the chance to fight, well, anything!

de Selby
23-03-2006, 21:12
I don't like the idea of Deathwatch scouts. They should all be grizzled veterans (remember that basic space marines are all represented by an average statline; the best of them could be capable of a bit of one-handed bolter work, but this isn't worth representing in rules unless the whole squad is proficient). Deathwatch training would take the form of pooling diverse skills and experience.

To get back to the original question, it's not inconceivable that the Deathwatch is actually legion-sized, but no-one outside the Inquisition has noticed because they're spread so thin. If Leviathan or son-of-Leviathan ever makes it to Terra, I can imagine them all being called to defend it at the last. How cool would that be?! :)

frod
23-03-2006, 23:18
Deathwatch are most definately not a chapter, they don't for instance harvest geneseed for their chapter it's returned to the original chapter.

In modern terms it would be somthing akin to the British SAS, this unit only recruits from other regiments of the British army, recruits must be volunters but they must also go through extensive testing and training, having joined some members serve with the unit until their death or retirement whereas others are returned to their original unit after a period of time where if they continue to serve their experience may help to keep others alive.

Also note that all chapters contribute to the Deathwatch it's just that GW didn't want to write a long and complicated rules set to let you bring in non standard marines such as SW after all they've only ever taken up a maximum of 2 pages of WD when they publish the rules, if they ever do write the Ordo Xenos Codex perhaps they'll include rules for converting Space Wolfs or Blood Angels ....... Or perhaps not

Hellebore
24-03-2006, 01:56
There are cases of entire space wolf great companies deciding not to return to their home world.

I don't find it impossible that a marine would stay with the OX. An inquisitor could however, continually extend their tour of duty indefinitely.

The marine is packing his metal undies and Inquisitor bob says "About that vacation....got another assignment for you."

The Inquisitor could keep the marine running around for ever if the marine wanted to.

Hellebore

Sekhmet
24-03-2006, 02:56
I don't think there's a problem with an Inquisitor training a Marine who is physically stronger, more agile, etc. Think about the coach of an Olympic athlete. The coach probably can't even get close to the athlete in terms of skill, but the coach knows what to look for, knows the theories of the sport/game, knows how to teach, and knows how to get their player/athlete to the next level.

Why would an Inquisitor have trouble training a Marine? What training would the Marine need besides knowledge? The Marine already knows how to fight, knows how to aim, knows how to work as a group, knows how to infiltrate areas. They do it so often it's all muscle memory and reflex, no thinking involved. Instead, the Ordos Xenos teaches them information about aliens that might be considered heretical in another context. Information such as how to use an Ork or Eldar or Tau weapon. How to recognize different Tyranids, know the anatomy of each, how to kill them easier, which ones to target.


And about size... remember, according to the Codex Astartes, they should be around 1000 strong. But that's rarely the case. Most chapters are either well below or well above that number. In the two Blood Angels novels, the chapter lost hundreds of Marines in a single engagement. I can't remember exactly who, but there are a few chapters in the 1,500 to 2,000 range. I think it was the Black Templar.

ThorOdensson
24-03-2006, 09:11
I dont see a problem with Deathwatch scouts, as scouts dont have to be initiates , thats just who fulfills the role of scouts in codex chapters, any marine can wear carapace armour (Scout Sargents/Vet Sargents) and all have been trained in techniques used to scout (and sniping etc.) Space Wolf Scouts aren't initiates either they're mature marines

Leman Russ
24-03-2006, 22:34
There are cases of entire space wolf great companies deciding not to return to their home world.
IIRC this has nothing to do with the OX but the fact that a few Wolf Lords got a bit to Lordy and ran off to set up his own world. :D

baneful
25-03-2006, 10:49
As hellbore said, an inquisitor could extend the tour indeffinately.

It mentions in the IA DeathWatch units/force of death watch and inquisitorial troops waiting sentinel over tomb worlds for the innevitable necron awakenings. So in theory they could pe posted as sentries for alamost their natural life span out side of combat

DraXaus
25-03-2006, 11:25
I think the Xeno malleus can vary upon its size. If the xeno threat is greater, they may induct more marines to counter the threat. And with chapters numbering in the thousands, they could equal that of a chapter, in size and strength.