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Portland

The new! big! extra-big! extra-new! Marines with special bolters as troops choices kinda got me thinking... What happened to Marines (of any kind) being special?

1) I admit that I'm not very up to date: hence, this is a real question, but it also might have a regular old answer I missed.

2) my favorite conflict (or at least representation of Marines) in 40k is the Badab war, in large part because a lot of it has to do with forces stretched thin.

But, like, I'm kinda used to Marines as relic everything, from storied and rebuilt suits of power armor, to basic bolters being armoury heirlooms, to of course esoteric stuff like dreads being not just sarcophagi but themselves important historical objects. (Yeah, STCs help recover, but they're still not exactly disposable.)

You've got your 10 companies built around maximizing resources and staying fighting fit, with the tactical squad at the hear of this that (rules don't always represent this the best) are supposed to be able to do whatever they need to as line troops.

But now we've got 5 primaris troops types that are within the narrative all filling the tactical marine role in battle companies? I get (assume) that the phobos stuff is replacing scouts down the line and seems to mechanically fill that role, but that's a ton of new types of specialists and gear available to basic marines. So, is there a narrative reason Marines (spread across the Imperium on a bajillion front) suddenly have access to a ton of gear with a lot of variation? Like, I liked that Marines, despite all their silly best whatever were balanced by every one of them being some storied hero in relic gear, even if mechanically they're still just tactical goons, and I feel like that's been lost--am I alone in losing the fun of marines? Primaris are nicely sculpted and all, but I'm missing the charm.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2020/09/13 15:17:56



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Cawl's been stockpiling this year for centuries, with direct authority from Guilliman to do so. He's essentially been able to work under the radar and amass massive resources. It also helps that the galaxy being split in half and being the big priority to deal with helps a lot with "hey, listen to me and bow to my authority".

Again - your Primaris Marines are over two hundred years old if they started at the start of the Indomitus Crusade. That's plenty of time for them to be wearing relic armour, having relic weapons, and being storied heroes in their own right.

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I've never bought onto the idea of Marine gear being relics. Sure maybe here and there some fancy artificer Aegis outfit or such but Brother McGrunt over there? He's got a "special" bolter, sure.

Anyone who's served in any armed or even police force will tell you weapons get worn out, no matter how well you try build them. There's no way there isn't a solid manufacturing line pushing out new suits and guns. You don't WANT Brother Better-Than-You's hand-me down bolter. You want a new one from the armoury.

This brings up an interesting point that Terry Pratchett addressed. How much repair can be done before you've got a new item?

“This, milord, is my family's axe. We have owned it for almost nine hundred years, see. Of course, sometimes it needed a new blade. And sometimes it has required a new handle, new designs on the metalwork, a little refreshing of the ornamentation . . . but is this not the nine hundred-year-old axe of my family? And because it has changed gently over time, it is still a pretty good axe, y'know.

Terry Pratchett - The Fifth Elephant


I'm certain 99.9999985% of the Firstborn Marine gear is new production and a minuscule amount is Relic.

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Portland

Pratchett was just recalling the Ship of Theseus parable/thought experiment.

And no, I don't think it's realistic. 40k is highly unrealistic, but that was part of the baroque setting which I appreciated. The setting is full of relics of prior eras, and just like the "first is unstable but more powerful" trope, it's got fun style that's really easy to write narratives around, design fun characters, or play RPGs. No, if 40k were realistic, 90%+ of it would have nothing to do with commanders and it'd just be blobs of mass infantry or sieges or bombing runs or whatever. It's fantasy in space, IMHO moreso than it is SF.


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I think the OP has a valid point. It was specifically said in 4th ed SM codex that when the ultramarines 1st company got wiped out during the first tyrannic war the losses of so many suits of terminator armour as well as their wargear (not to mention the soldiers themselves) was a grevious blow to the chapter that took centuries to recover from. So it took the ultramarines, a chapter with vast resources, a bare minimum of 200 years (most likely a few 100 years more) to replace about 100 suits of elite armours and wargear. At the time of having recovered about half the chapters first company was said to have become tyranid hunters (or tyrannica war veterans). A type of sternguards unique to the ultramarines that specialized in fighting tyrranids using regular marine equipment (with specialized ammunition). That implies that the chapter was actually unable to replenish their supply of 1st company gear since half the first company where basically glorified tactical marines. After a minimum of 200 years.

Times have changed though and tyrranid hunters aren’t a thing anymore. Unfortunately in today’s 40k you can have armies appear out of no where, fully kitted to reinforce the entire galaxy. Resources used to be at the same time very limited (SM gear) and abundant (Guard gear) in 40k but these days I guess it’s all just abundant.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2020/09/13 19:55:08


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This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2020/09/13 21:47:32


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ironically, it is possible to make a argument for the "multiple different versions of a given primaris job role" being the result of local, non-standardised production and limited means of production, with different chapters are such all finding slightly different ways to achieve the same goals. while their may be 5 different versions of the "primaris tactical squad" equivalent, theirs nothing saying that every chapter uses all 5 at once. they might use one, or two, or start with one then switch to another as a change in doctrine or equipment availability.

I agree that all this new gear coming out so quickly (in game terms) is a little stupid, but its not impossible to explain via in-universe methods (like parallel evolution). Its also worth pointing out that Space Marines have never really been as bad-ass as their fluff makes them out to be, and that certain elements of the "lost relics" ideas dont make sense at all, given how popular said relics are, and GW have actually toned this down a little compared to older fluff in some cases. their was a time that baneblades were ultra-rare, like "you might have a company of 3 in a army group of millions" rare, rather than merely "not common, but nothing special" like they are now (although this was the early 2000s era when the only baneblades were £350 forge world resin kits). many of the Leman Russ varients were explicitly out of production or just bloody rare, again back when they were forge world resin kits. Thiers other examples i am sure i could dredge up of things working differently back then.

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I'm thinking I might want to use this angle to my advantage with regards to my marine army going forward.

I intend to build the core of the army from a "fluffy" mix of firstborn marines in a way that reflects the old scarcity angle - lots of vehicles and stuff, 5 model squads, plenty of apotecharies etc. Once my army starts growing beyond the first 1500 or so points, I'll be gradually adding Primaris into the mix, and from then on only add more primaris to the army. This will eventually lead to an army where firstborn marines represent a minority, and Primaris represent the majority of the infantry force, since if the Primaris marines arent limited to 1000 battle brothers per chapter, there can be practially any number of them.

I'll start piling on the Primaris from gravis armoured units first. These will look bulkier enough so that they will just appear as terminator armourlike units compared to their smaller brothers.

This message was edited 5 times. Last update was at 2020/09/13 22:20:05


 
   
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one thing to keep in mind is that Cawl designed MK X armor to be modular, so Phobos armor, tacticus and gravis armor are simply differant levels of build up on the same frame.

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 Sgt_Smudge wrote:
Cawl's been stockpiling this year for centuries,

Millennia.

The first Dawn of Fire novel (Avenging Son) touches on this. Cawl did much of his Primaris work on an Ark Mechanicus. Its basically a mobile Forge World, and all its resources were dedicated to making Primaris and Primaris gear, vehicles, etc.

How he hid it and kept it safe is an open question, but he had _thousands_ of years to stockpile kit for his creations. It wasn't being used for anything else, beyond infrequent tests by his test subjects. No requisitions, no supplying warfronts, just pure building and mothballing.
We simply don't have an equivalent experience, as last century's wargear largely isn't worth keeping, even for emergencies. The century before that is laughable junk (in terms of fighting wars), good only for museum pieces.

xexeskingofking wrote:ironically, it is possible to make a argument for the "multiple different versions of a given primaris job role" being the result of local, non-standardised production and limited means of production, with different chapters are such all finding slightly different ways to achieve the same goals. while their may be 5 different versions of the "primaris tactical squad" equivalent, theirs nothing saying that every chapter uses all 5 at once. they might use one, or two, or start with one then switch to another as a change in doctrine or equipment availability.

Interestingly, I was surprised to see Dawn of Fire kept things simple. The initial Primaris forces (at the start of the Indomitus Crusade) are Intercessors, Hellblasters, Inceptors and Aggressors (and of course a Lieutenant). The variations of stuff that has come later for us (canonically 100+ years later, after the Crusade is over) just isn't there, and most isn't even mentioned beyond some form of hover tanks and walkers. Indomitus the novel has it, but that's set later on (at least 10 years, in the ship's personal timeline, which doesn't account for warp travel, and it isn't clear how long it took for their fleet to set out from Terra after the start of the Crusade)

So it looks like the various Primaris specialists were either added to the roster as the Primaris marines got more experienced (their lack of real-world field experience and personal experience is a big highlight of Avenging Son), or they're left out to keep the narrative relatively simple.

This message was edited 2 times. Last update was at 2020/09/14 02:18:46


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No wonder Cawl is so cocky. He sat on that stuff knowing if he got discovered the Inquisition would blow all of it (and him) to hell, but he didn't get discovered. In a manner he pulled some massive espionage on the Imperium and got away with it.

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I suppose one of the big reasons that everything is an old relic revered by their chapter for thousands of years is because, well this is fantasy in space more than anything. Stagnated, everything is old and barely understood.

If you try and gauge by real world standards yeah it's hilarious. "What you have the Auspex I5 Battle-Brother? That's several years out of date. I have the Auspex I6, it has a bigger optic lense!

And yeah, remember that Cawl has been working on this stuff since the before Gulliman was put into stasis. Some of the marines were likely born much before even Dante.
   
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It isn't like they have not repaired that gear countless times over the centuries/millenia. And there are examples of things in real life that still work despite being incredibly old. It's just that technological advancement leaves them behind. In 40k the older stuff is liable to be MORE advanced.

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Mostly it makes no sense from a logistical standpoint. They would have been whittled down to non existence if it was a thing.

They'd have lost a lot more recovering some items than they'd gain. Sure something like a Titan or a Baneblade but a bolter? Even a suit of Tactical Dreadnought Armour?

Too many would have been irretrievably lost on Space Hulks or on daemon worlds anyway.

It's a nice idea but it is firmly in the arena of "don't think about that too hard" like a lot of the WH40K.

The scarcity thing was only ever fluff anyway. Look at new releases. The Centurions, Baal Predators, Stormravens... They were "rare" but really they weren't. Same with relics like bolters and power weapons. My Necromunda gang has a heavy bolter, two bolters and IIRC 3 power weapons. It makes a nice Grimdark narrative setting but it's not practical. If were really a thing you'd find many more Marines armed with heavy stubbers or even lasguns.

Just accept it as something that happens for "reasons" and move on.


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It’s not out of the ballpark to see a marine feasibly using a weapon or armor that had been in service for centuries or longer, especially when the equipment in question is extremely expensive in terms of materials and time to produce more of. I mean the Abraham’s has been in service for what 40 years now? That’s enough time for a soldier to be sitting in the same tank his father of even grandfather commanded. The US keeps on reusing the same chassis because the damn things are crazy expensive to completely replace, so it’s more cost efficient to sand Blast the old one, make repairs/enhancements and put it back in the field if they can.

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I think this is something that has happened in dribs and drabs over the years but essentially the whole concept and character of 40k has now changed (the Primaris/Primarchs returned are the apotheosis of this I think rather than it just resting on that piece of background).
It's no longer 10 seconds to midnight and mankind is no longer doomed. In fact, it looks like it's making a bit of a comeback.

As such, I think bits of the background that reference this (I'm using Brother Leo's old helmet from 200 years ago, the lens is still cracked from where he got shot through the eyeball but otherwise it's OK) probably don't fit as well any more. I think there is a bit of incongruity/disconnect highlighted by this change; you're being asked to believe that someone stockpiled enough wargear for entire Legions of marines while the barbarians were literally at the gates and humankind holding on by its fingertips?

Incidentally I don't think the new background is better or worse. I do have a massive amount of nostalgia for the early editions and grew up on them in the 80s along with reading 2000AD and Dune etc, the proper grim-dark, so they are therefore several levels of cool above the space-lords returning to kick-butt stuff coming out now, but then the other perspective of that is that I'm a grognard and stuck in the past

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2020/09/14 09:27:43


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 agurus1 wrote:
It’s not out of the ballpark to see a marine feasibly using a weapon or armor that had been in service for centuries or longer, especially when the equipment in question is extremely expensive in terms of materials and time to produce more of. I mean the Abraham’s has been in service for what 40 years now? That’s enough time for a soldier to be sitting in the same tank his father of even grandfather commanded. The US keeps on reusing the same chassis because the damn things are crazy expensive to completely replace, so it’s more cost efficient to sand Blast the old one, make repairs/enhancements and put it back in the field if they can.
Ships will remain in service for even longer, but that's because they are a huge investment. No country can afford to replace an aircraft carrier just because it's "kinda old." But if a soldier is given a gun and armor from 100 years ago, he should be worried...

Now maybe the reason Primaris are so well equipped is because Cawl designed equipment that can actually be produced? Marines no longer have to salvage antiques when they want another tank, they can get a new one straight out of the factory, I suppose?
   
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Primaris has changed more than just the SM unit options and I’m not sure how much of it was intentional. Remember the story about the 2 space marine accounts that were made planetary governors because they found an STC for a new kind of knife?

Now the imperium can only ent new kinds of power armour, jump packs, bolters Floating tanks etc. And Cawl has improved in the emperors work.

There was a time when all this was heresy, new terminators and dreadnoughts could not be made and they could not be dismantled in order to see how they were made.

Not only had humanity lost the knowledge front he golden age but over the last 10k years they had lost the understanding from the age of the emperor. Space marines handed down their equipment like heirlooms and worshiped them as holy relics.

The whole point of the heresy was that Horus would loose and plunge humanity into an age of cultural, religious and technological stagnation that would ultimately drive them to chaos. That was the game the alpha legion were playing.

If GW wanted to change this then that’s fine but I think it should have been acknowledged as the start of some sort of change in the history of the imperium, RG returning helps this. But it feels like they are just trying to blow it off by saying cawl has been working on this for 10k years so it’s always been on the cards.
   
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mrFickle wrote:
Now the imperium can only ent new kinds of power armour, jump packs, bolters Floating tanks etc. And Cawl has improved in the emperors work.
And had the Emperor's explicit permission to do so.

Just want to make that point clear.

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Wot Smudge said.

Cawl has Guilliman as a benefactor. And contributed to the original Space Marine (and Primarch I think) project.

He’s been beavering away at the Primaris project for millennia. And, being a high ranking Tech Priest, likely has access to all sorts of live combat recordings to enable him to better tweak the arms and armour.

Remember. The original Space Marines were a bodge job. After the kidnapping of the infant Primarchs, The Emperor simply worked with what was left - and with the warp storms settling, he was against the clock.

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What has happened to me.. am I allowed to just put down a dividing line and say "NOPE" to anything after (maybe 2018?)

Going back on what I have said earlier, I just read some of the modern background and I despair. Marines a bodge job? Seriously when has that ever been a thing in the past 30 years of background?

I suppose I shouldn't be surprised. GW were prepared to literally destroy an entire game world and it's inhabitants to push a new games system and force people to jump over, so this (which after all is just to prompt people to buy a new collection of marines) is quite tame by comparison.
I'm reminded of a blog review I read of the Will Smith movie I, Robot, which featured a photoshop of Smith pissing on the grave of Isaac Asimov.
I suppose in this case it would be Rick Priestly but they don't even have the temerity to let him die first.

/rant


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They were a bodge job since the Primarch background was first set out.

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I don't know if "bodge job" is the right way to put it. But it's been established waaaaay before Primaris that the Emperor pieced together the Marine Legions based on his designs for the Primarchs, and that they were always inferior as a result. I'll have to dig out the 2nd ed Ultramarines Codex in a bit when I can, that's got more on it.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2020/09/14 16:26:48


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Might help if I clarify what I’m meaning by bodge job, as it can vary.

Specifically, Making The Best Of The Situation And Materials At Hand.

Cawl didn’t create then new implants, so much as complete (dare I say perfect) them.

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 Mad Doc Grotsnik wrote:
Might help if I clarify what I’m meaning by bodge job, as it can vary.

Specifically, Making The Best Of The Situation And Materials At Hand.

Cawl didn’t create then new implants, so much as complete (dare I say perfect) them.


its also worth pointing out it took crawl literally thousands of years to improve on what the Emperor did in (at most) a few hundred years, and most likely a few dozen. the timeline of is still a little screwy, but he didnt start on Marines until after the primarchs were stolen, and had cadres ready for most of them by the time he began his Great Crusade.

An argument could be advanced that the Emperor had actually intended the Marines to be at Primaris level, but wasnt able to make that happen in the time frame he wanted, so went with what he could get working, with the plan to "perfect" the marines after winning the Great Crusade. Its totally not supported by canon, obviously, but its nice fanon.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2020/09/14 18:17:50


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Well, we know The Emperor first created the Thunder Warriors, and discarded them entirely once their purpose was served.

Primarchs were a massive leap forward. And it seems to me it’s case of “not enough time” to replicate them, rather “they were a one and done” thing.

Astartes of course bridge that gap. Not as physically robust as Thunder Warriors, but far more sophisticated from what little is stated in the background.

We can also reasonably surmise the Emperor’s plans were utterly derailed by the Heresy.

See, he went back to Terra, leaving Horus in charge to perfect his Webway work, safe in the knowledge the Crusade had suitable leaders.

Had the Heresy happened long after it did? Specifically after The Emperor has got his Webway working? Who knows what might’ve been next.

And had he retained The Primarchs, it’s at least somewhat arguable he’d never had lead the Crusade himself, instead trusting it to his Mini-Me’s.

I could see the next project being Primaris, or something close to it. Tweaking and improving the Astartes recipe - particularly once lost technologies recovered during the Crusade made it back to his Labs on Terra.

TL/DR (don’t blame you)

The Emperor doesn’t come across as one to just decide a job is “good enough” and leave it there. He’d be tinkering and improving.

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Alrighty, here we go, excerpt from 2nd ed Ultramarines Codex as promised. Though admittedly it's not quite as I remember...

"The development of genetic tissue took many centuries of work. This research was itself a spin-off from the aborted Primarch project, which was an early attempt at genetic restructuring with the aim of creating god-like creatures called Primarchs."
"Samples of genetic tissue taken from the foetal Primarchs were used to create the genetic banks which provided the first Space Marine gene-seed."

So... uhhh... ok, it doesn't really go as much into the inferior nature of an ordinary Marine compared to a Primarch as I remember. Who knows, maybe I'm thinking of other fluff elsewhere in early editions, or maybe I've subconsciously overwritten it in my head.

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 Super Ready wrote:
Alrighty, here we go, excerpt from 2nd ed Ultramarines Codex as promised. Though admittedly it's not quite as I remember...

"The development of genetic tissue took many centuries of work. This research was itself a spin-off from the aborted Primarch project, which was an early attempt at genetic restructuring with the aim of creating god-like creatures called Primarchs."
"Samples of genetic tissue taken from the foetal Primarchs were used to create the genetic banks which provided the first Space Marine gene-seed."

So... uhhh... ok, it doesn't really go as much into the inferior nature of an ordinary Marine compared to a Primarch as I remember. Who knows, maybe I'm thinking of other fluff elsewhere in early editions, or maybe I've subconsciously overwritten it in my head.


im not sure, that sounds right. I think the inferior part is just that the Space Marines are not as individually powerful as their Primarch gene-fathers. weather this was because they were never intended to be or because he lacked the ability to make more beings at primarch power levels is a question i dont know the canonical answer to, but i seem to remember it leaning more towards the latter than the former.


The Emperor doesn’t come across as one to just decide a job is “good enough” and leave it there. He’d be tinkering and improving.



oh, i completely agree with you, but thier comes a time in any products design cycle when you have to go firm, freeze the design and start production, and save any new improvements to the next iteration. While the marines may not have been "finished", and a few centuries more tinkering might have led to a better end product, he needed his armies soon, due to external factors beyond his control, and he could always iterate the new version out once the Great Crusade was done.


Then it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an` Tommy, 'ow's yer soul? "
But it's " Thin red line of 'eroes " when the drums begin to roll
The drums begin to roll, my boys, the drums begin to roll,
O it's " Thin red line of 'eroes, " when the drums begin to roll.

"Tommy", Rudyard Kipling 
   
Made in ca
Fireknife Shas'el






Everything in 40k is made of stuff that literally does not, and probably cannot, exist in real world physics. How long does a bolter last for? Rogue traders run around with archeotech weapons that no one understands or can possibly repair but they are still functional after a minimum of 15000 years. Dark Age of Technology's materials science was THAT good. And bolters are overbuilt to incredible levels, given the barrel thickness and overall weight of a weapon that shoots 0.75 caliber rounds. So yes, a Chapter Master might be wielding a bolter used by the first Chapter Master of his Chapter, with minimal replacement parts, because it's probably made of self-healing materials that get their resources from the residue of bolter propellant, is tougher than diamond on an order of magnitude and literally corrosion proof under normal conditions.

And that's nowhere near as good as it gets.


   
 
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