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Which is more advantageous for a SM Chapter strategically and tactically; to be fleet/planet based?  [RSS] Share on facebook Share on Twitter Submit to Reddit
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Made in fi
Regular Dakkanaut





So basically which is better?
   
Made in us
Exalted Beastlord




I can't say it really matters.

Pretty much all the Chapters are stuck with logistical chains that rely on outsiders for their weapons, armament and ammunition. Or raw materials if they have some manufacturing capability (which seems to vary by author)

So if you're planet based, if the planet is cut off through warp storms, invasions elsewhere or trade disruptions, you're feth out of luck.

But on the other hand, you've got a theoretical safe haven/ defensive position (not that it saves the chapters whose fortress-monastery gets invaded).

For fleet-based, they can't pull up for supplies at any old Imperial planet, they really need the Ad Mech to agree to resupply them. And there isn't anywhere to really 'stash' your reserve units and training centers.

Its kind of bad either way, because they're independent stand-alone organizations that have significant dependencies, by design. And how well they deal with their home planet varies immensely, as can their relationship with other Imperial organizations.

Efficiency is the highest virtue. 
   
Made in us
Dakka Veteran





I don't think one is inherently better than the other. They are different tools for different jobs, and each will be better suited to tasks based on whether they are fleet or planet based as well as other factors.

It would be like comparing which is better, siege specialists or covert operatives.

   
Made in gb
Deadly Dire Avenger





Logically I'd expect being planet based would give you ready access to raw materials and plenty of space and man power for support facilities. It would however tie the chapter to that location and they would face increasing logistical difficulties the further away from their homeworld they operated so they would tend to operate in warzones close to their homeworld. Also, everyone "knows where you live" so hostiles and troublesome Imperial authorities know where to find you.

In contrast a fleet based chapter has the freedom to operate in any area of the galaxy it wishes but won't have as easy access to raw materials and space is going to be a lot more limited for support facilities. They are probably going to be more reliant on external supply chains or sourcing stuff from local systems. On the other hand their logistics chain will typically be quite short as they can just move the fleet closer to the war zone. It is also harder for hostiles and troublesome Imperial authorities to tie you down as you can just move to a new area.
   
Made in gb
Unhealthy Competition With Other Legions





A planet-based chapter would have access to a local populace for warriors/servants/materials/foodstuffs. However, it also presents a target. An Ork WAAAGH would jump at the chance to have a good scrap at a fortress-monastery, likewise, a CSM Warband would see a source of arms/armour/equipment/gene-seed. It would be insanely difficult but the payoff would be worth it.
Fleet-based chapters may still have worlds tied to them to supply tithes of aspirants/materials but the roving nature of such a chapter would mean they will often be far from these planets. The Charcharadons have a very interesting system know as the Red and Grey Tithes. The Red Tithe is where they claim a planet's population as aspirants/slaves for the chapter and usually, this is from fringe worlds where the Charcharadons operate so nobody really cares/notices if Prison World 8L-9Z is suddenly empty. The Grey Tithe is where the chapter gives any archeotech found in the outer reaches of space to the Mechanicus in return for arms/armour/equipment.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2021/03/28 14:04:46


 
   
Made in pl
Longtime Dakkanaut





The same CSM warband can just attack their base ship directly for even tastier prize, capital ship plus whatever spoils they can get, especially seeing SM chapter could expend stored vehicles and munitions defending their fortress but they can't do so on a ship.

And the 'target' bit is the point for the Imperium - chapter planted on planet defends it and surrounding sector, which can be even more useful than yet another weak roaming fleet (which won't match say Imperial Navy task force, even weak one, though can deal with matters too 'small' for navy).
   
Made in gb
Unhealthy Competition With Other Legions





I didn't say either was better than the other but as a side note, planets aren't mobile. Ships are. Everyone knows where Macragge or Baal is but the Nicor, the flagship of the Carcharadons, would be much harder to find and even if it was found it could always escape.
   
Made in pt
Fireknife Shas'el




Lisbon, Portugal

The best of both worlds: Dark Angels and Imperial Fists.

Have a moon-sized mobile fortress as HQ and many, many planets to get people. Even if you lose some of those, there are many others. And the mobile HQ is so massive it'll be very hard to be conquered by enemies!

40k, AI & BFG: / SW Legion & X-Wing: CIS / MCP: X-Force, X-Men, Brotherhood of Mutants, Avengers

 Unit1126PLL wrote:
"FW is unbalanced and going to ruin tournaments."
"Name one where it did that."
"IT JUST DOES OKAY!"

 Shadenuat wrote:
Voted Astra Militarum for a chance for them to get nerfed instead of my own army.
 
   
Made in ca
Jinking Ravenwing Land Speeder Pilot



Canada

 Vector Strike wrote:
The best of both worlds: Dark Angels and Imperial Fists.

Have a moon-sized mobile fortress as HQ and many, many planets to get people. Even if you lose some of those, there are many others. And the mobile HQ is so massive it'll be very hard to be conquered by enemies!


Nailed it.

All you have to do is fire three rounds a minute, and stand 
   
Made in gb
Battleship Captain




Agreed, though I believe the Phalanx isn't exactly.....working..at the moment. It's basically moored in High Terra orbit on a permanent basis.

Termagants expended for the Hive Mind: ~2835
 
   
Made in nz
Road-Raging Blood Angel Biker



New Zealand

The biggest weakness for ship based chapters is fuel. If cut off from a fuel supply a ship is just a really small planet.
   
Made in nl
Regular Dakkanaut






I would argue that there are several disadvantages to being fleet-based. First of all, it makes it harder to build all the infrastructure and so, you will still need detachments on planets for things like training and the like (you need a bit more space for most kinds of training than even a 40k-sized ship offers). And, of course, logistics are harder without a centralised point to ship them to. The biggest issue however is something else entirely. It's the warp. Having the core facilities of the chapter travelling through the warp can easily lead to disaster when they either get badly separated or even lost in it. Basically, the future of the chapter can be a small failure or storm away. Of course, I wouldn't actually expect that to happen to story-relevant chapters because, well, they never have things like that happen to them. But it is a major danger.

   
Made in gb
Unhealthy Competition With Other Legions





There are quite a few instances of important chapter ships going missing in the Warp. Cato Sicarius gets trapped with some Ultras before escaping, I believe it's told in Knights of Macragge. The Lamenters, Fire Hawks, and Angels Penitent all have instances of forces being lost to the Warp, in the Fire Hawks case it was the entire chapter.
   
Made in se
Willing Inquisitorial Excruciator





According to the codex astartes the chapter master is also the regent of his home world. They are also extempt from Imperial tithe. In the 4th ed codex it specified the home planet as being to valuable a resource to ignore. I guess the amount of workers, militia and resources can be very valuable to a chapter. During the battle of Macragge the pdf acted as auxiliary units to the ultramarines and would end up playing an important part in halting the tyranids. I guess the amount of tithe a chapter can draw from for their own population might help them with imperial finances? Other then obvious maintenance work and menial tasks I mean. I don’t know, it’s an interesting topic to me.

Edit: As a side note apparently certain space marine homeworlds are popular pilgrimage sites. Having enormous amounts of pilgrims going to see a bastion of the Emperors angels. Fun thing to think about how that would affect things like trade and population. Wouldn’t you try to live on a planet actually controlled by space marines? At least a fleet bound chapter wouldn’t have to deal with all those pesky faithful fellows.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2021/04/04 21:10:15


His pattern of returning alive after being declared dead occurred often enough during Cain's career that the Munitorum made a special ruling that Ciaphas Cain is to never be considered dead, despite evidence to the contrary. 
   
Made in us
Prospector with Steamdrill




Charlotte, NC

 Dolnikan wrote:
I would argue that there are several disadvantages to being fleet-based. First of all, it makes it harder to build all the infrastructure and so, you will still need detachments on planets for things like training and the like (you need a bit more space for most kinds of training than even a 40k-sized ship offers). And, of course, logistics are harder without a centralised point to ship them to. The biggest issue however is something else entirely. It's the warp. Having the core facilities of the chapter travelling through the warp can easily lead to disaster when they either get badly separated or even lost in it. Basically, the future of the chapter can be a small failure or storm away. Of course, I wouldn't actually expect that to happen to story-relevant chapters because, well, they never have things like that happen to them. But it is a major danger.


My two cents on the above:

I definately concur with the infrastructure. Unless you are "in the neighborhood" of the right world to fix or rebuild the equipment that you are short on, you may get into some trouble. Most likely you would have to skip a few requests to take on an opponent, or do a more limited footprint than what you would have liked to have. However, CSM are able to manage so I am sure that a smart experienced chapter master will find a way to get re equipped and re-supplied. The other option is to either stock up and waste transportation space on that or scavenge after a fellow chapter came through and left whatever they did not want to fix. I think that is why some chapters get sent out on crusades so that they can't get resupplied and have to make do with what they have and find along the way and eventually die off all of the offending parties.

As far as training goes, I tend to see Fleet Based Space Marines doing something similar to what you see the US Marines do on abandoned islands in the Pacific or in the Caribbean when they want to get some training done. They do a mock invasion on the island, but in the case of Space Marines, they would do a mock planet strike on an abandoned moon or planet. Likewise anything that they want to train in real life, I would expect them to try to use the current system that they reside in to figure out how to teach that skill. If they can't, I expect that they would either continue to look or to backtrack to a previous system that they were just in for the right training ground. Basically these are added wrinkles to the training schedule that may be added headaches to the command of a chapter that they don't need all the way to minor annoyances.

Concerning the warp, no doubt that there are ships and fleets that go missing in the warp. Having said that, I don't think that it is as much of a danger as you think, as no one would take the trips through the warp if it was that high of a risk. I would consider warp travel to be similar to traveling by ocean on this planet, but I am not exactly sure whether it is if one are using sails to get around or modern propulsion. Even if we use the analogy to when we were traversing the ocean using sailing ships and 18th century technology, which I would contend that there was more inherent danger with that propulsion, but the risks obviously were acceptable and manageable to settle half of the world with European settlers and colonists, along with bringing enough trade from around the world to Europe to make it worth everyone's while to include fighting over the rights to sail it back. I would expect Space Marines to be some of the best warp travelers out there and would know when to stay put and when to travel to mitigate the risks of the warp to be as risky as sailing with the best ship in the Royal Navy from the 18th century. Personally, I think that losses in the warp are exactly used for story-revalent chapters to add to the mystique of certain chapters or groups.

PS Edit: I just read something related to this topic that I totally forgot about. Look up Fortress Monasteries. They are basically warp-capable space stations that have full training, repair, and even limited manufacturing facilities for their respective chapter. A fleet based chapter only really needs to have raw-materials and iniates in order to function for the most part. They may be short on exotic machinery like Land Raiders, but likely will have plenty of ammunition and be able to repair if not build their own Rhino's.

Concerning the OP:

Honestly, you have trade-offs on being a planet based versus a fleet based chapter. A planet based chapter has all the infrastructure and resources of a planet, and has a central location for their forces to rally as well as for deliveries of off planet material. They tend to know where to find good candidates to be space marines easier when centrally located, so there is power to be had in having a chapter be based on a planet. The drawback is that whatever that planet does not produce is subject to transportation, which can either be expensive or dangerous if the chapter planet is in a rough neighborhood. Likewise a central location means that everyone will eventually know where you live, and you will likely keep some of your force back to train and defend your home planet. One more thing about a chapter planet is that they generally "given" away meaning that being a planet based chapter has a component of prestige as well as the above power benefits.

Since a fleet based chapter is not tied down to a planet, they can focus more of their energy at one point rather than leaving someone back home to mind the store. They also don't have to defend their system at all costs as it is frowned upon to loose your chapter planet without a fight. However, they will have to hunt for resources more than planet based chapters and perhaps deal with the locals when you "requisition" the resources that you want, which can include at the point of a bayonet. Likewise you may not be able to get what you want when you want it, so your functionality may be diminished or you may have to refuse to assist in certain circumstances. You may also have to deal with hit or miss genetics for any neophytes, but that can balance out if the chapter are well traveled in the system and know which planet the tough guys come from to only recruit from there.




Automatically Appended Next Post:
 Nerak wrote:
According to the codex astartes the chapter master is also the regent of his home world. They are also extempt from Imperial tithe. In the 4th ed codex it specified the home planet as being to valuable a resource to ignore. I guess the amount of workers, militia and resources can be very valuable to a chapter. During the battle of Macragge the pdf acted as auxiliary units to the ultramarines and would end up playing an important part in halting the tyranids. I guess the amount of tithe a chapter can draw from for their own population might help them with imperial finances? Other then obvious maintenance work and menial tasks I mean. I don’t know, it’s an interesting topic to me.

Edit: As a side note apparently certain space marine homeworlds are popular pilgrimage sites. Having enormous amounts of pilgrims going to see a bastion of the Emperors angels. Fun thing to think about how that would affect things like trade and population. Wouldn’t you try to live on a planet actually controlled by space marines? At least a fleet bound chapter wouldn’t have to deal with all those pesky faithful fellows.


Would it not depend on the Space Marines? If they are a benign chapter that only recruits and deals with the local powers that be, then maybe no big deal. However, if they are more apt to use the indigenous people as live target practice whenever they feel like it, then perhaps leaving would be a good idea if at all possible.

This message was edited 5 times. Last update was at 2021/06/02 18:39:34


 
   
 
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