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Made in gb
Lit By the Flames of Prospero






Marines should be in open battles but as force multipliers. A platoon of Guardsmen will fight harder knowing a squad of Astartes is with them.
   
Made in fr
Stalwart Tribune





 CthuluIsSpy wrote:
 Tiennos wrote:
The small number of marines wouldn't be a problem if they were always used along other, more numerous imperial forces when it's a large scale conflict (you can say the same things about other elites like knights,by the way). Fighting a war with a hundred guys is ridiculous, but sending those hundred guys to do the critical missions that allow the million grunts to win makes sense.


You'd think that would be one of the roles Chapter Serfs; to provide military aid if Marines have to deploy in force but they can't rely on Imperial reinforcements. But apparently they just hang out on the battle barge while marines fight.
It wouldn't be that much of a problem if GW wasn't so damned hellbent on portraying the marines fighting open battles, like on Damnos.
They'd need a LOT of serfs to fight major battles without other support and that'd probably be too much power in one place for the Imperium's liking. But on a smaller scale, having a few thousands non-marine soldiers could definitely free the marines for the really critical stuff. It'd make the disbelief a bit easier to suspend, at least.
   
Made in au
Regular Dakkanaut




Lets look at the flipside of why it's ridiculously small. Lets say an average Imperial civilised world rebels and turns traitor, maybe there's some chaos marines involved who was able to propagate a successful cult and launch a successful coup.

This civilized world has a PDF equivalent to 1% of its population. For easier math we'll just say it has a planetary population of 10 billion. That's 100 million PDF soldiers across the entire planet.

What's 1000 marine going to do against that? Even a fraction of that? This is also just a standing army. We haven't even factored in military reserves or conscription.
   
Made in us
Ultramarine Librarian with Freaky Familiar






Jarms48 wrote:
Lets look at the flipside of why it's ridiculously small. Lets say an average Imperial civilised world rebels and turns traitor, maybe there's some chaos marines involved who was able to propagate a successful cult and launch a successful coup.

This civilized world has a PDF equivalent to 1% of its population. For easier math we'll just say it has a planetary population of 10 billion. That's 100 million PDF soldiers across the entire planet.

What's 1000 marine going to do against that? Even a fraction of that? This is also just a standing army. We haven't even factored in military reserves or conscription.
History is full of situations where smaller forces defeat much, much larger forces through various means. Or Imagine 10,000 roman legionairres vs 5 A-10s that have unending logistical support and a totally clear airspace. Numbers can mean basically nothing with assymetrical technologies in play. Each Strike Cruiser carries Exterminatus weapons if they really want to use them. Nukes, virus bombs and probably all sorts of intermediate munitions would probably be available.

And They Shall Not Fit Through Doors!!!

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Made in us
Armored Iron Breaker





Jarms48 wrote:
Lets look at the flipside of why it's ridiculously small. Lets say an average Imperial civilised world rebels and turns traitor, maybe there's some chaos marines involved who was able to propagate a successful cult and launch a successful coup.

This civilized world has a PDF equivalent to 1% of its population. For easier math we'll just say it has a planetary population of 10 billion. That's 100 million PDF soldiers across the entire planet.

What's 1000 marine going to do against that? Even a fraction of that? This is also just a standing army. We haven't even factored in military reserves or conscription.


A disciplined, even fanatical army can rout a much larger force. For example, Saladin's army at Montgisard was routed by a smaller force of Crusaders, owing to the discipline and willingness to expose oneself to danger of the Templars. They'd frequently form up their squadrons of mounted cavalry into tightly packed formations and charge straight into the foe.

Fernys Hjolda!
 
   
Made in au
Longtime Dakkanaut





Small forces aren't an issue of you've got unlimited recruitment lines.

The way a chapter is supposed to work is that they've actually only got 500 frontline marines, making it even smaller.

The 6-9 companies are reserve companies that generally resupply the battle companies as they lose men.

and the 10th feeds into the 6-9. and the recruitment worlds feed into the 10th.

vehicles are generally piloted by marines from the 6-9 afaik.


So when a company is deployed to a warzone, they would come accompanied by 10th company scouts and 6-9 company vehicle crew and reserves.


Space marine rarity is a false economy - even if only 1 in a million humans can become a marine, they're recruiting from trillions.

if the imperium numbers 10 trillion, then at any one time they'd have 10 million people suitable for recruitment. 10 trillion is about 10 million people per planet the imperium controls, so you could argue they have more than that. In which case the potential recruit pool just gets bigger.

The battle companies are the tiny, diamond hard tip of a very deep and wide spear - actually it's probably more apt to describe it as a water jet with the imperium as the reservoir tank and the marine conversion process as the nozzle that concentrates it...

   
Made in us
Regular Dakkanaut




Do Space Marines sit on aspirants? I was under the impression that Space Marines made more of themselves as often as they were able and attrition kept their numbers relatively stable. Obviously within the context of their own initiation rites.

I would imagine Chapters that swell too large have their number spun off into a successor Chapter or may have their tithes raised.

There was some old lore that also indicated that if the Inquisition suspected a Chapter were playing with its numbers that they would get directly involved by eliminating or capturing small assets to interrogate/dissect to look for corruption (looking at you, Black Templar).


Automatically Appended Next Post:
Jarms48 wrote:
Lets look at the flipside of why it's ridiculously small. Lets say an average Imperial civilised world rebels and turns traitor, maybe there's some chaos marines involved who was able to propagate a successful cult and launch a successful coup.

This civilized world has a PDF equivalent to 1% of its population. For easier math we'll just say it has a planetary population of 10 billion. That's 100 million PDF soldiers across the entire planet.

What's 1000 marine going to do against that? Even a fraction of that? This is also just a standing army. We haven't even factored in military reserves or conscription.


I think you're overestimating how easy it is to effectively neutralize a modern society if you don't have to worry about political fallout (and even regular fallout if you're a marine) or military retaliation. Many Imperial worlds can't even feed themselves.

Using Earth as an example, most countries would be brought to their knees with something as simple as strikes against power generating stations. Without electricity, most of the population would be thrown into chaos. After that, surgical strikes on dams and levees to create disasters would further destabilize various regions. Sow enough disarray and Space Marines (or any invading force) wouldn't even have to fight the bulk of the population--they'd be too busy tearing into each other for basic resources. And this is on Earth, where humans can survive reasonably well on the majority of the landmass--other Imperial worlds might have even greater challenges, like air purifiers, living in domes, restricted living land mass, naturally undrinkable water, extremely hostile wild life, etc.

In this scenario, it wouldn't be the marines' job to fight each and every traitor. They would be there to neutralize the rebels as a serious threat, which usually includes decapitation strikes. It would then be up to the Imperial Guard to pacify the world (and potentially the Ecclesiarchy/Inquisition depending on the nature of the rebellion).

So yes, I can see a few squads of marines aboard a strike cruiser being able to neuter a world in a relatively short time frame, mostly through superior training and materially outclassing their opponents at the tactical level. Which is sorta the point of the astartes. It's only when they start fighting pitched battles or against opponents that are their equal or betters that they start seeing massive amounts of casualties.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2021/07/20 06:12:41


 
   
Made in no
Huge Bone Giant





Bergen

One thing I have never understood is is there more then 1 unit of 1000 ultramarine? I always thought so from a practical standpoint. And they would all be named ultra marines but be separate.

Besides that there are some who do break the 1000 rule. Astral Claws (see badab war.) Black Templars will go down to 1000 once they 'end their crusade'. And space wolves are subdivided into the 13 clans but are well over 1000 if you combine them. (Also, they used to not beeing able to settle on another planet.) If I recall correct.

I am a dyslectic, so bear with me.

Dyslectics in a text based environment? Dakka is aware of you and sympathises with any troubles you have: http://www.dakkadakka.com/dakkaforum/posts/list/505863.page

Kronos biovore box fresh sporemines. Denying psykick powers since 2017.

 
   
Made in us
Ultramarine Librarian with Freaky Familiar






 Niiai wrote:
One thing I have never understood is is there more then 1 unit of 1000 ultramarine?
Just the one Chapter. It's possible that for periods when larger portions of the chapter are away from the homeworld that recruitment might swell to a number above 1000, but overall the chapter would be roughly 1000 marines, not including the supernumaries.

And They Shall Not Fit Through Doors!!!

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Made in de
Contagious Dreadnought of Nurgle




1 0? Make that 3 if you ask me.
1Billion Marines to defend 1 Million worlds. Still a very small number, since it's merely 1000 Marines for every planet, but that way every story where Marines die in droves like on the tabletop is more believable. Fluff also shows Marines in trench warfare again and again. Especially in the Great Crusade. You want to conquer whole planets/systems / sectors in no time, getting stuck in warfare on the ground and endless sieges with a mere 200K Marines per Legion, often less? Make that 200 Million and add at least a Billion Guardsmen as support and we're talking. Anything else is stretching my disbelieve and immersion more than... a female Marine ever would
   
Made in gb
Longtime Dakkanaut




One problem is the corporate approach seems to be to put SM front-and-centre on their own in a lot of stories whereas in all likelihood they'd fight alongside other Imperial forces in almost all cases.

Even if we assume they're fighting on their own it really doesn't take much to cripple an enemy and put down a rebellion. That's especially true when you have the ability to teleport wherever you need to be, or orbital drop at a moment's notice. I suspect 100 Marines could probably reduce the key infrastructure of a country the size of the USA to rubble in about an hour with a series of co-ordinated strikes at power plants, water treatment plants and government buildings. Not to mention the ease with which they often achieve orbital and aerial superiority.

It gets a bit more unlikely when they're up against technologically equal or superior opposition but even then the MO would remain the same. SM should very rarely fight battles on anything but their own terms.
   
Made in de
Terrifying Doombull






Nuremberg

I've always imagined that the Marines don't fight wars on their own very often, they are almost always used in conjunction with other more numerous forces. They're shock troops attacking the most dangerous enemy forces or fighting in the extreme environments like in the void of space or on planets with extremely dangerous conditions.

If an entire engagement was being fought in such an environment I could see it being all Marines but I'd say the Imperium is in most cases interested in defending and colonizing habitable worlds so those engagements on space hulks or airless moons would be relatively small and limited, and the enemies they'd be fighting would have fairly small forces too.

That said I also like the idea that maybe 1000 marines is in universe propaganda and that most chapters have a lot more members than that. Even if the Ultramarines stick to the 1000 marine rule, they've got so many successors that they are really closely tied to that they can realistically field many times that number. And other famous chapters like the Space Wolves or Black Templars are really cagey about their numbers and probably have more than 1000 marines.

   
Made in gb
Ship's Officer





Bristol (UK)

The 1000 marines is meant to refer specifically to the combined nominal strength of the 10 companies. So chapter command assets, armoured assets/crews, perhaps even off-book reserves are all in excess of this number (and/or provide a buffer to sustain that number in spite of casualties).

I do also agree that Space Marines very rarely deploy in strength alone, they primarily act in smaller elements, no more than a company, to achieve specific targetted objectives.
They might raid and destroy the enemy planetary command post, or a critical logistics hub, or ICBM site. Think modern commandos/special forces but like x10.

All of this will act as a great force multiplier to the Imperial Guard who actually fight on the bleeding edge of the combat zone. Sometimes Space Marines might be used as the tip of the spear in a frontal assault, or deploy directly behind the avenue of a frontal assault to secure objectives to be relieved by following Imperial Guard.

The narrative just focuses on Space Marines because they're cooler and more popular.
   
Made in de
Terrifying Doombull






Nuremberg

I often wonder about the logistics of Space Marines. Like their weapons require solid ammunition unlike the Imperial Guard who can recharge their lasguns by just heating the powerpacks in a fire. Their armour requires maintenance and repairs after engagements or it will become useless and actually end up a liability - damaged or depowered armour would limit movements and make marines more vulnerable to attack. The power packs on the marine's backs as far as I know need to be charged properly and don't work like the lasgun ones.

So I can't imagine Space Marines deploying for a really long time in a warzone without logistical support, which is weird because they're often written that way. Seems to me they'd do their strikes and then retreat to rearm and restock before striking again, while the guard is fighting continuously in a manner that doesn't require too much in the way of resupply.

   
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Ship's Officer





Bristol (UK)

I think it's swings and round abouts.

Astartes have the benefit that they can continue fighting at peak efficiency as individuals for days on end. They don't need sleep and their armour contains all the food they need.

But after a few days, they begin to run low on solid ammunition (although that's easy to drop-pod or even teleport in) and maybe their armour begins to run out of battery.In short, as a unit Space Marines have a limited front-line effectiveness measured in days.
This makes them great at quick insurgency operations but a poor choice for massed frontline service.

Imperial Guard on the other hand individually can only sustain a fight for perhaps a day at most before they need a reprieve for food and sleep.
They also may need to be rotated back every few weeks or months to keep the men fresh.
But as a unit/organisation they can sustain a fight almost indefinitely as the burden on ammo supply is greatly reduced and due to the bulk of manpower rotating reserves is possible.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2021/07/20 10:06:48


 
   
Made in gb
Longtime Dakkanaut




It doesn't seem to be in the current Codex but previous books did mention the power supply for Power Armour was basically a small nuclear reactor, so I suspect longevity isn't an issue. Damage probably is, but it seems like basic armour repair is part of their training. The ammunition problem is very real though, especially given how little extra ammo SM are generally depicted with. The sheer size of an armoured SM probably makes using captured weapons impractical as well.
   
Made in fr
Trazyn's Museum Curator





on the forum. Obviously

Slipspace wrote:
It doesn't seem to be in the current Codex but previous books did mention the power supply for Power Armour was basically a small nuclear reactor, so I suspect longevity isn't an issue. Damage probably is, but it seems like basic armour repair is part of their training. The ammunition problem is very real though, especially given how little extra ammo SM are generally depicted with. The sheer size of an armoured SM probably makes using captured weapons impractical as well.


That's probably why they are trained in melee and have swords. You don't see Guardsmen being trained and armed like that.

What I have
~4100
~1660

Westwood lives in death!
Peace through power!

A longbeard when it comes to Necrons and WHFB. Grumble Grumble

 
   
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Nuremberg

Nuclear reactor makes sense. Though it would be pretty dangerous if breached due to radiation leakage. You'd definitely need some sort of incredible power source to make armour like that viable.

   
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Ship's Officer





Bristol (UK)

I don't think the limited extra ammo is actually a concern in reality. I imagine 40k artwork to be like medieval artwork, agrandising the participants.
How many water bottles do you see on a Roman Legionary painting? None, which can't be right if they're fighting in the plains of west africa!
   
Made in fr
Been Around the Block





There are several times in the fluff (at least in the HH series) where Astartes running out of bolter ammo is mentioned to show the intensity and/or duration of a specific engagement, so that's definitely a concern. IIRC, resupply by specialized ammo Drop Pods is also mentioned in some of the more recent books (post-Primaris).
   
Made in gb
Sneaky Lictor





London

They absolutely should have quietly put an extra zero on it with Guilliman's return, and said that most chapters had been ignoring it all along.

Logistically it just makes no sense that the likes of the founder chapters continue to exist when a full 10- 20% of their strength might get wiped out or be lost for centuries just by travelling around. Making chapters 10,000 strong still makes Marines vanishingly rare in the scope of the wider Imperium, but a bit more plausible that they can send 150 marines here and there where they might get wiped out but would still be able to man their homeworld etc.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2021/07/20 13:11:17


 
   
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Nuremberg

Yeah 10,000 marines per chapter would still be a drop in the bucket. It's either that or there should be many more chapters and less representation for the founding legions in the fiction etc.

   
Made in ca
Regular Dakkanaut





Altima wrote:
I think you're overestimating how easy it is to effectively neutralize a modern society if you don't have to worry about political fallout (and even regular fallout if you're a marine) or military retaliation. Many Imperial worlds can't even feed themselves.

Using Earth as an example, most countries would be brought to their knees with something as simple as strikes against power generating stations. Without electricity, most of the population would be thrown into chaos. After that, surgical strikes on dams and levees to create disasters would further destabilize various regions. Sow enough disarray and Space Marines (or any invading force) wouldn't even have to fight the bulk of the population--they'd be too busy tearing into each other for basic resources. And this is on Earth, where humans can survive reasonably well on the majority of the landmass--other Imperial worlds might have even greater challenges, like air purifiers, living in domes, restricted living land mass, naturally undrinkable water, extremely hostile wild life, etc.

In this scenario, it wouldn't be the marines' job to fight each and every traitor. They would be there to neutralize the rebels as a serious threat, which usually includes decapitation strikes. It would then be up to the Imperial Guard to pacify the world (and potentially the Ecclesiarchy/Inquisition depending on the nature of the rebellion).

So yes, I can see a few squads of marines aboard a strike cruiser being able to neuter a world in a relatively short time frame, mostly through superior training and materially outclassing their opponents at the tactical level. Which is sorta the point of the astartes. It's only when they start fighting pitched battles or against opponents that are their equal or betters that they start seeing massive amounts of casualties.


You're right, but you're also thinking of it in human terms. If you look at Imperial Worlds that have fallen to Chaos (like in the Gaunt's Ghosts series) the humans already live in squalor and filth, barely eking out an existence, there are no resources to cut off to them. They fight because they've gone insane and the creatures of the warp sure don't need things like damns or levees. There could still be critical strikes against things like power plants / warp portals, but the important ones will all be heavily guarded by Deamons and Traitor Marines, putting them on equal footing. So it would be a great strategy for Chaos to use against Imperial worlds, but not so much the other way around. If you send SM's in to crush a rebellion, are you really going to win the people back by cutting them off from every natural resource? You'll just drive more to the rebel's cause and make the job of the liberation forces harder.

The Orks just straight up wouldn't care as they basically survive on war over any natural recourse. The Dark Eldar don't have any firm holdings. The Tyranids just eat everything and move on. The Necrons are too numerous and keep coming back. Unless you destroy them with a first strike, you're toast in a war of attrition (see both Damnos conflicts as reference to both situations). The Eldar are spacebound and it's more about the fleet fight than any real boarding action unless it's absurdly massive. The only race this probably would work against would be the Tau as they actually more-less care about their people and live decent lives outside the conflict. Even then, if you're being chased around by hundreds of Tau battlesuits, you're not going to get very far, even as a SM.

This message was edited 4 times. Last update was at 2021/07/20 14:48:22


15000 4000 3500 2500 :tyranid: 2500 1000 1000
1000 1000 1000 1000  
   
Made in us
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Even against traitors, the modern Space Marine has plenty to fall back upon. He has specialized bolter rounds developed specifically for the purpose of killing fellow Astartes, the support of apparatuses and institutions specifically developed to battle Chaos like the Inquisition, and plentiful war-graith like plasma guns that are superlatively effective against power armor.

I simply don't buy the idea that Legion traitors' experience makes them undefeatable gods of war. It doesn't work like XP in a video game. It makes them harder to get the drop on and makes them fight smarter. It doesn't lend them any innate qualities that make them superior to the Line Marine of a codex chapter.

Space Marines, especially Codex Chapters, operate on the collected wisdom of thousands of years. They have the Codex Astartes to look towards for guidance on such matters of war. They've fought traitors before and they've come out on the other side.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2021/07/20 15:52:17


Fernys Hjolda!
 
   
Made in gb
Fresh-Faced New User




 Turnip Jedi wrote:
I think the 1000 Chapters of a 1000 marines was just something that sounded cool at the time of RT



Also the earlier days of 40K were based more on skirmish like battles so SM as more like special forces.

I suspect had the lore been devolped more recently they might well have gone with 10K per chapter personally, significantly smaller than most of the HH era legions but large enough that they can fight a conflict single handed if need be and can have the diversity of troops/equipment we now see.
   
Made in gb
Ultramarine Librarian with Freaky Familiar





I think 1000's fine.

As mentioned by Insectum, while there's still less than 1 Astartes per world, not every world is in conflict, and not every conflict warrants the appearance of Space Marines - coupled with how Space Marines are used as a force multiplier, I think that they're fine.

Secondly, I generally just don't take the timeline in the OP at face value, with all those events taking place in 999.M41. I would chalk that up to in-universe bad date-keeping, and out-of-universe GW just pushing everything to being 999.M41.

Thirdly, casualties doesn't mean fatalities, and I tend to regard one of the Space Marines' biggest assets being their recovery and readiness to return to battle. So, many of the "high casualties" reports I see as "yeah, they had to sit out on a battle, but they were back for the next one".

Regarding actual Chapter sizes, I don't think they're much bigger than 1200, and certainly not some of the "they have thousands of reserve aspirants!" - but that's just me. I'm happy suspending my disbelief that 1000 (plus maybe a hundred or so officers, drivers, command squads, etc) are necessary.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2021/07/20 16:19:05



They/them

 
   
Made in gb
Longtime Dakkanaut





Tawnis wrote:
mrFickle wrote:
It makes sense when too many of these guys under one leader can divide your empire in half.

Space marine chapters are like special forces, small specialised forces for getting certain jobs done. The bulk of the fighting in 40K is done by the army and the navy.



I meant adding a 0 to the HH numbers of the Legions too, so it would proportionally still be the same as it is now.

They are always called that, and from the numbers, that seems like how they should be used. However, what we often see of them is not in that type of roll. Like I said in my original post, I noted that as they exist now Spec Ops / Assassination / Support roles would be all they could really do. However they are often running large worldwide campaigns with little or even no support. Only the largest system wide engagements show them backed by what seems like a respectable fighting force. I think it's just to make them look more badass in the lore, it just practically doesn't make sense.


We have to factor in bad writing unfortunately. Yeah 1000 marines taking non a whole planet of monsters is madness, a bit different if the aliens attack a SM home world which will have other defences.

But these guys are the John Cena of 40K, it’s gets boring seeing them constantly overcome unreasonable odds
   
Made in gb
Lit By the Flames of Prospero






How dare you besmirch the Great Unseen One!
   
Made in gb
Longtime Dakkanaut





 Gert wrote:
mrFickle wrote:
It makes sense when too many of these guys under one leader can divide your empire in half.

Space marine chapters are like special forces, small specialised forces for getting certain jobs done. The bulk of the fighting in 40K is done by the army and the navy.


To be fair, the Legions weren't special forces during the Crusade and Heresy. They were common enough. Plus they were divided into Expeditionary Fleets with Army, Mechanicum and sometimes Titan or Knight support as well. So if half the Legions go to Horus, then so do roughly half the Expeditionary Fleets.

The process for creating Astartes in the Crusade/Heresy was also superior to the modern equivalent and during the closing stages of the Heresy lots of corners were cut on both sides to rapidly increase their numbers of Astartes, leading to things like the World Eaters Inductii or Raven Guard Raptors.


Sure but pre Hersey they existed to rapidly re/conquer the galaxy and exterminate whole species of aliens. There were also part of expedition forces that contained AM, Ad Mech, Titans etc.

And after the Conquest of the galaxy the SM were due for termination themselves because that much firepower with no where to point it the emperor knew it would eventually point back at him
   
Made in ca
Regular Dakkanaut





 RaptorusRex wrote:
Even against traitors, the modern Space Marine has plenty to fall back upon. He has specialized bolter rounds developed specifically for the purpose of killing fellow Astartes, the support of apparatuses and institutions specifically developed to battle Chaos like the Inquisition, and plentiful war-graith like plasma guns that are superlatively effective against power armor.

I simply don't buy the idea that Legion traitors' experience makes them undefeatable gods of war. It doesn't work like XP in a video game. It makes them harder to get the drop on and makes them fight smarter. It doesn't lend them any innate qualities that make them superior to the Line Marine of a codex chapter.

Space Marines, especially Codex Chapters, operate on the collected wisdom of thousands of years. They have the Codex Astartes to look towards for guidance on such matters of war. They've fought traitors before and they've come out on the other side.


That's true. In a 1v1, I'd actually typically favor a loyalist marine because they (especially now) are equipped with better weapons, armor, and support on average. That being said, the warp powers and Deamons that aid Chaos can balance that out, so I tend to treat them as evenly matched.


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1000 1000 1000 1000  
   
 
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