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I've been reading into the Alpha Legion lore and am a bit confused. The Alpha Legion's tactics of infiltration, subterfuge, and mass timed sabotage followed by a decapitation strike seem like perfectly reasonable methods of warfare. They require time, yes, but in exchange you deal a massive blow against your enemy with very little cost to yourself.

So why did the other legions hate this methodology so much? Is it because "ma honorable combat", or am I missing something? Is this answered in their Horus Heresy books?
   
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Longtime Dakkanaut




It's partly the "me honorable combat" thing and partly a few other factors. In a few cases, the perceived lack of honor is probably genuinely irksome. Imagine that you're a fenrisian and your saga is the thing that makes you get up in the morning. You and your enemies might die horribly, but at least your ghosts will have a good fight to talk about. The Alpha Legion kills people in a way that denies them the chance to end their sagas well. You can see how that would be offensive to a fenrisian even if you don't expect to ever be fighting against the AL.

Part of it is politics. Alpharius was good at conquering and shutting down nascent rebellions, but he wasn't good at winning hearts and minds the way Guilliman or Horus were. So your non-AL legion shows up, expects to impress upon a society the might and bravery of the imperium, and then some AL operatives shut down the power grid, assassinate beloved politicians, and generally leave a bad taste in everyone's mouth. They won efficiently, but the propagandists are going to have to work overtime to create a sense of unity between this world and the imperium at large.

Part of it is just how cold-blooded Alpharius could be. He'll kill guys on his own team for the sake of stealth or the abstract concept of strengthening the imperium. He killed a custodes as a way of adding weight to his report of a possible weakness in the palace defenses. Marines and primarchs may be inhuman, but killing the guys on your own team to make a point still doesn't sit well with many of them.

And then there's just the general sense that the AL are lying to you. You might not know what they're lying about, but they're definitely lying about *something*. And that tends to simply be off-putting.
   
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Lit By the Flames of Prospero






The Alpha Legion are viewed by the other Legions the same way the Romulans are viewed by Klingons in Star Trek.
The Alpha Legion are sneaky, lying, cheating, cowards who would use things like politics or economics to win a war, compared to the honourable way of mass slaughter, endless fighting, and huge casualties. Except it's 100% OK if someone who isn't the Alpha Legion does those things because when they do it, it's honourable.
   
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Longtime Dakkanaut





If you have to fight along side the alpha legion they don’t let you know about their secret plans and are always working another angle, so it’s hard to trust them.

Also the emperor was supportive of the alpha legion tactics and complicit in some of the schemes so there’s probably some jealousy.


Automatically Appended Next Post:
And the lack of transparency, the primarchs wouldn’t even know if they were talking to the real alpharius

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2021/04/30 13:43:00


 
   
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Depraved Slaanesh Chaos Lord




Inside Yvraine

Because it's maximum effort for minimal gain.

In the time it takes the AL to take one planet Horus would have taken three, and with only 25% more losses.

Time is one of the most valuable resources there is in war.
   
Made in gb
Lit By the Flames of Prospero






TBF there was only one incident where all of the Primarchs, bar Horus, condemned the tactics of Alpharius and it was when he did it purely to show off:
Spoiler:
The most notorious example of this took place on the world of Tesstra Prime, where the Alpha Legion, instead of taking the opportunity to capture the planetary capital to force the world's surrender, allowed the enemy to dig in and defend it so that they could then expertly take the defending forces apart in a number of different ways. After a week of suffering seemingly random mishaps as well as brutal ambushes, the defenders were forced to capitulate, having taken 90% casualties. When asked why the Legion had not taken the simpler strategy, Alpharius is reported to have replied that they avoided it as "it would have been too easy".

The Legion had a good working relationship with the Luna Wolves, Iron Hands, and Dark Angels. The Death Guard, Imperial Fists, and Ultramarines were known for their dislike of the Legion, Curze didn't like them but he didn't like anyone, and the Thousand Sons discreetly stayed away from the Alpha Legion for unknown reasons.
The Alpha Legion was also very disunited when it came to the Heresy and there are many incidents of Alpha Legion forces attacking each other or working against the greater plans of the Traitors. Even post-Heresy some still consider themselves Loyalists.
   
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Deadly Dire Avenger





Arcanis161 wrote:

So why did the other legions hate this methodology so much? Is it because "ma honorable combat", or am I missing something? Is this answered in their Horus Heresy books?


This is probably a huge factor. Astartes are born and bred to be warriors with codes of honour and pride in their traditions and victories. They are about strength and might in combat and looking your opponent in the face as you kill them. Alpha Legion are often more about espionage than war, they don't fight in ways that earn the other legions respect.

In war it is also very important to know the guy next to you has your back. When the Alpha Legion rock up to your warzone it is impossible to know what angle they are working or what their true intentions are. Will they support you in a tight spot or use you as bait? Are they even on your side at all?

I think the biggest factor is that Marines bond with each other as battle brothers. Bonds are forged between marines of different legion as they fight side by side and come to each other's aid. The Alpha Legion aren't really anyone's brother. They might come to your aid but they are as likely to use you as bait in a trap as fight side by side with you. They probably won't tell you what the plan is and if they did would you even trust it as the truth? Ultimately you are an expendable pawn to them, an asset to be played. The Alpha Legion also don't have the same kind of reputation as the other legions as they don't publicly celebrate their victories. No-one ever hears of the Alpha Legions great achievements except as gripes from third parties who feel they were used, kept in the dark or were just unimpressed that the Alpha Legion used trickery rather than martial might to win. Basically when all the legions head down to the warrior bar after a war to bond and slap each other on the back and boast of their achievements the Alpha Legion are all in their own clique in the corner keeping to themselves. They don't care what everyone else thinks about them.
   
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Ork-Hunting Inquisitorial Xenokiller





Watch Fortress Excalibris

I think it's also partly that Crusade-era Astartes understood, even if not quite consciously, that all the Primarchs (and therefore their Legions) represented parts of the Emperor's own nature. The fury and nobility of Sanguinius, the discipline of Dorn, the logistical genius of Guilliman, and so on. Even the less obviously 'heroic' Primarchs like Kurze or Corax could still represent positive traits you'd ideally want your Immortal Golden Saviour to have (commitments to justice and freedom respectively). But Alpharius and his Legion represented those traits the Emperor had in abundance that his loyal servants never wanted to acknowledge: secretiveness, deception, paranoia, ruthless utilitarianism, etc. To recognise those traits as also being part of the Emperor's nature would be to admit that he was not the shiny golden hero they needed him to be. Basically, the existence of the Alpha Legion was a big, flashing neon sign saying "The Emperor Is A Manipulative Bastard!"

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And IIRC sometimes the planets conquered by Alpha Legion experienced much higher casualties than other planets conquered by other legions in more traditional ways, because of the whole infiltrate the planet and then manipulate the populace to ignite internal conflicts leaving a mess behind for somebody else to deal with. Where as someone like Guilliman would minimize the casualties of the conquered planet, even if it meant more casualties to Ultramarines, and he was focused on leaving the planet in a better state than it was before before moving on. So I can understand why Primarchs like Guilliman and legions like Ultramarines had scorn for casualty-averse cowards like Alpharius and Alpha Legion who leave a mess behind for someone else to deal with.
   
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Longtime Dakkanaut





Alpharius was the first primarch that the emperor found and they kept it secret. The emperor embraced the cerebral nature of the appha legions tactics and sent alpharius forth as secret he kept even from Horus.

Alpharius was doggedly devoted to the imperial cause and the emperor. Maybe the other primarchs always sensed there was a connection that they didn’t understand and it made them envious
   
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Ork-Hunting Inquisitorial Xenokiller





Watch Fortress Excalibris

I feel like maybe we're being unfair to the Alpha Legion, though. Let's ask Alpharius what the truth is. Alpharius?
Spoiler:

You see, that's why everyone hates you.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2021/05/01 19:41:08


“By striving to do the impossible, man has always achieved what is possible. Those who have cautiously done no more than they believed possible have never taken a single step forward.” - Mikhail Bakunin

If your response to "Nazis are bad!" is "No, no! It's BLM and Antifa and Sigmarxism that are the real problem!" then you are the real problem. 
   
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 Duskweaver wrote:
I feel like maybe we're being unfair to the Alpha Legion, though. Let's ask Alpharius what the truth is. Alpharius?
Spoiler:

You see, that's why everyone hates you.


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"Because the Wolves kill cleanly, and we do not. They also kill quickly, and we have never done that, either. They fight, they win, and they stalk back to their ships with their tails held high. If they were ever ordered to destroy another Legion, they would do it by hurling warrior against warrior, seeking to grind their enemies down with the admirable delusions of the 'noble savage'. If we were ever ordered to assault another Legion, we would virus bomb their recruitment worlds; slaughter their serfs and slaves; poison their gene-seed repositories and spend the next dozen decades watching them die slow, humiliating deaths. Night after night, raid after raid, we'd overwhelm stragglers from their fleets and bleach their skulls to hang from our armour, until none remained. But that isn't the quick execution the Emperor needs, is it? The Wolves go for the throat. We go for the eyes. Then the tongue. Then the hands. Then the feet. Then we skin the crippled remains, and offer it up as an example to any still bearing witness. The Wolves were warriors before they became soldiers. We were murderers first, last, and always!" —Jago Sevatarion

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Arcanis161 wrote:I've been reading into the Alpha Legion lore and am a bit confused. The Alpha Legion's tactics of infiltration, subterfuge, and mass timed sabotage followed by a decapitation strike seem like perfectly reasonable methods of warfare. They require time, yes, but in exchange you deal a massive blow against your enemy with very little cost to yourself.

So why did the other legions hate this methodology so much? Is it because "ma honorable combat", or am I missing something? Is this answered in their Horus Heresy books?

Other people have covered the "honourable combat", so I won't reiterate it, but I think one of the most valid criticisms of Alpharius is Guilliman's (and the same criticism can be levelled at Kurze and Angron).

The point of bringing worlds to compliance was exactly that - compliance, not destruction. Against systems that were xenos or genuinely too far gone to accept Imperial domination, sure, full destruction and chaos was more than encouraged, but against systems that perhaps needed a more gentle "persuading", you didn't want to eliminate their whole infrastructure. You want to sweep aside resistance, install more loyal vassals, and carry on as normal, boosting your production base as you move on. This is a tactic that the Ultramarines were rather excellent at doing, and quickly led them to become one of the largest and most successful Legions of the Crusade, because they were doing more than torch-and-burning their enemies.

The Alpha Legion's tactics to essentially letting their opponent bleed out over ruined infrastructure saved the lives of their own Astartes, yes, but it took time, and left the system they were bringing to compliance with an unproductive population, and a ruined industrial capacity. They would rather have an absolute *technical* win than a practical one - and in doing so, missed the entire point of compliance. The World Eaters and Night Lords were equally guilty, with the World Eaters just about annihilating local populations, and the Night Lords leaving rebellious human colonies fractured and completely terrified - not productive. The Alpha Legion would have been an excellent choice for dealing with internal dissent and for populations that needed complete destruction, but as a pacifying and assimilating force, they were worse than useless, because they actively made efforts to rebuild harder on the Imperium. When the Alpha Legion were done with a world, you only ended up being a ruler of the ashes.

Again, this is Guilliman's criticism of the AL - for other Primarchs, such as Russ, it was almost certainly a "muh honour" issue, but considering Russ' fairly skewed sense of honour, I don't exactly give his criticism much weight.


They/them

 
   
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Longtime Dakkanaut





Guilliman was like the Smithers to the emperors mr burns. No one that sycophantic and straight edge could cope with the alpha legions tactics, they had no rule book.

With the honourable battle thing, most astartes expect a good death in battle where as The alpha legion sought to avoid death whilst winning the battle.

I don’t believe that alpharius or omegon are dead. It’s subterfuge and I think that’s the way it will play out over the 1000s of books that get released. The idea that straight edge guilliman managed to put fox the fox is cliche and not fitting in the grimdark IMHO.

I haven’t got time to read all the HH books but form what I’ve read on the wikis it seems like the alpha legion, described as the weavers of mystery and intrigue creating plans within plans in plans, never actually see one of their plans come to fruition. Which is disappointing. The idea that they turned over to the heresy in order to save mankind is really cool, their story finishes in the same vein as the traitors. It would have been good if they had some hand in the transporter malfunction that beamed sanguinus to Horus so he could chink the armour that lets the emperor beat him

If one of them were to die a better story would be that they turned on each other some how.
   
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Ultramarine Librarian with Freaky Familiar





mrFickle wrote:No one that sycophantic and straight edge could cope with the alpha legions tactics, they had no rule book.
Guilliman, sycophantic? I think you might be jumping the gun a bit, Guilliman definitely wasn't a sycophant to his father. Horus, Dorn and Russ? Certainly, but Guilliman? He wasn't that pally with his dad. Again, let's not forget, Guilliman actually had a good relationship with his adoptive father, and still kept his mother around even as a Primarch.
Also, straight edged? Guilliman in the Heresy was surprisingly adaptive and flexible - his chain of command was rigid, but the actual battlefield tactics were variable in the extreme. An example of this is quite literally at the Battle of Calth, where he adapts remarkably quickly to the unthinkable, and is able to save his Legion from being entirely wiped out there and then. Dorn, on the other hand, definitely was the straight-edged one - but this didn't seem to phase him when
Spoiler:
he killed Alpharius at Pluto and blunted the initial AL invasion of Sol.


The alpha legion sought to avoid death whilst winning the battle.
And by doing so, drew the war out much longer than necessary - which is the criticism. You can definitely argue that the AL were being protective of their own men, but were they going overboard in valuing their own troops more than the infrastructure they were there to seize? Astartes were definitely more expendable in the Great Crusade than in 40k, where they become much more of a rarity.

I don’t believe that alpharius or omegon are dead. It’s subterfuge and I think that’s the way it will play out over the 1000s of books that get released. The idea that straight edge guilliman managed to put fox the fox is cliche and not fitting in the grimdark IMHO.
Alpharius
Spoiler:
is dead, killed by Dorn.
That's pretty cut and dry.
We haven't yet seen what happens with Guilliman, if that will even happen in the current run.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2021/05/03 00:19:21



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Do we know that was actually Alpharius though that died and not some body double? That is his whole schtick after all. He and his Marines resemble each other in size and physical features, and his whole Primarch power theme seems to be being unnoticeable even in plain sight (as in people see him but they somehow don't register him as being out of place or just consign him to the background).

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2021/05/03 03:21:18


 
   
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Longtime Dakkanaut




Iracundus wrote:
Do we know that was actually Alpharius though that died and not some body double? That is his whole schtick after all. He and his Marines resemble each other in size and physical features, and his whole Primarch power theme seems to be being unnoticeable even in plain sight (as in people see him but they somehow don't register him as being out of place or just consign him to the background).


Well...
Spoiler:

We know his body died, but iirc one of the subplots of that book was that they'd used extensive psychic surgery on a normal marine. My understanding was that they were implying that Alpharius had basically swapped bodies with that legionnaire, and the whole anticlimactic death at the hands of Dorn was basically him staging his death. Maybe that's me misremembering/confusing the explicit details with my own headcanon. If you interpret the events of that book literally without suspecting trickery, then Alpharius was behaving very stupidly and out of character. Relying on a sincere plea to Rogal Dorn to abruptly change his point of view while engaging him in melee is an obviously terrible plan. Literally too stupid to be believed.

It does seem like his body was destroyed, however, because Omegon was psychically aware of the "death" of his twin while in an entirely different location.

So my headcanon is that the mind of one of the twins is still out there scheming. A primarch's hard-to-hide physiology would, weirdly enough, have been something of a liability for a guy who's greatest strengths are secrecy and plotting.


Did the AL actually do a bunch of unnecessary damage to infastructure, generally speaking? From the stories I've read, I remember the twins starting civil wars, causing millitary bases to wipe each other out, whipping citizens into rebellions, etc. But I don't remember them going out of their way to do significant long-term damage to things like manufacturing facilities, planetary ecosystems, etc. Most of their plots seem to revolve around weakening the millitary and political strength of planets they go to, and they seem to take a lot of care to try and figure out which local subfactions will cause the desired type of damage. Plus, they've set up other legions to have smoother victories once they arrive to conquer a place.

So a world would probably still have most of its factories intact regardless of whether they were subjected to orchestrated civil war/series of assassinations or a straightforward fight against someone like Guilliman. Guilliman would just have the benefit of being viewed as an awesome (literally awe-inspiring) conqueror while Alpharius would have the benefit of not losing marines unnecessarily. And if Alpharius secretly starts a civil war before Guilliman arrives, then the imperium gets both of those benefits; Guilliman arriving in time for a low-effort victory that lets him be a poster boy without losing a lot of marines.
   
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Longtime Dakkanaut





GW have intentionally written the alpha legion story so that you can be sure who was in any one place at any time.

You can’t say it’s cut and dry that dorn killed alpharius.

Few of the primarchs stories have ended in such a way that they can’t return to the 40K setting a la gulliman
   
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[DCM]
Ambitious Archon





Port Carmine

There is nothing more tiresome about Alpha Legion and their fanboys than the constant "aha, just as planned" in response to every defeat/setback.

Alpha Legion are traitors, Alpharius is dead, Omegon is dead, everybody's dead Dave.

Kabal of the Mon-keigh's Paw
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 harlokin wrote:
There is nothing more tiresome about Alpha Legion and their fanboys than the constant "aha, just as planned" in response to every defeat/setback.

Alpha Legion are traitors, Alpharius is dead, Omegon is dead, everybody's dead Dave.

Admittedly, we can get a bit, "Batman always wins if he has prep time," about things. However, the events of Praetorians of Dorn are significantly more out of character and stupid if you assume Alpharius was sincerely just trying to talk Dorn into switching sides during the galaxy's most elaborately arranged sparring match. And if there isn't something more going on, then the twins' deaths become narratively wasteful and pointless.

Ferrus's death shapes the Iron Hands and gives Fulgrim a tragic edge. Sanguinius's death gives us the black rage and lends more weight to the threat posed by Horus. The supposed deaths of Alpharius and Omegon don't really add anything to the story, feel out of character, and shut down possible cool plot hooks. So I prefer to think that at least one of them is still kicking around in some way shape or form even if the legion isn't aware of their existence. Puts them in the same toolbox as Russ, Corax, and the Khan.

Not everything should be, "Just as planned," but that doesn't necessarily mean that the twins need to have died in the boring, pointless ways described either.
   
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In the Sons of the Hydra novel, the Alpha Legion protagonist searches for his Primarch, convinced that at least one of them remains alive. Now of course a reader could argue he is lying even to himself, but if anyone should have a reason to suspect the survival of at least one of the Alpharius/Omegon pair, it would be a member of his own Legion.
   
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Iracundus wrote:
In the Sons of the Hydra novel, the Alpha Legion protagonist searches for his Primarch, convinced that at least one of them remains alive. Now of course a reader could argue he is lying even to himself, but if anyone should have a reason to suspect the survival of at least one of the Alpharius/Omegon pair, it would be a member of his own Legion.


I feel like that novel is kind of attempting to comment on this topic. It's not that the novel is trying to lend credence to the idea that one of the primarchs does exist. It's confirming that a large number of alpha legionaires don't know for certain that one of the twins is alive and saying it's okay for your army to think that they are or want them to be. The book starts by talking about how this particular group of AL perform harrowings reminiscent of the Great Crusade days, but also suggests that this might be somewhat out of the norm in the 41st millenium.

Basically, that book says it's valid to think that one of the twins is alive or not. That your AL can perform intricate harrowings or just be aimless scum leading manipulated cultists. It's canon that the AL as a whole isn't following some elaborate scheme laid down by the twins, but it's also canon that members of the legion have decided there's a reasonable chance that their primarch lives.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2021/05/03 20:38:28


 
   
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Iracundus wrote:Do we know that was actually Alpharius though that died and not some body double?
I'm fairly sure the author stated as much, but I can't remember the source for that.
Wyldhunt wrote:Did the AL actually do a bunch of unnecessary damage to infastructure, generally speaking? From the stories I've read, I remember the twins starting civil wars, causing millitary bases to wipe each other out, whipping citizens into rebellions, etc. But I don't remember them going out of their way to do significant long-term damage to things like manufacturing facilities, planetary ecosystems, etc. Most of their plots seem to revolve around weakening the millitary and political strength of planets they go to, and they seem to take a lot of care to try and figure out which local subfactions will cause the desired type of damage. Plus, they've set up other legions to have smoother victories once they arrive to conquer a place.
From what I've read of AL things, they tend to damage means of production, like power grids and fuel depots, destroying them instead of capturing them - as well as taking more time than other Legions to achieve a victory condition (admittedly at a lower casualty rate than other Legions, but when the Ultramarines are out there claiming their 500 Worlds and still being the largest Legion, is that such a deal breaker?)

Wyldhunt wrote:I feel like that novel is kind of attempting to comment on this topic. It's not that the novel is trying to lend credence to the idea that one of the primarchs does exist. It's confirming that a large number of alpha legionaires don't know for certain that one of the twins is alive and saying it's okay for your army to think that they are or want them to be. The book starts by talking about how this particular group of AL perform harrowings reminiscent of the Great Crusade days, but also suggests that this might be somewhat out of the norm in the 41st millenium.

Basically, that book says it's valid to think that one of the twins is alive or not. That your AL can perform intricate harrowings or just be aimless scum leading manipulated cultists. It's canon that the AL as a whole isn't following some elaborate scheme laid down by the twins, but it's also canon that members of the legion have decided there's a reasonable chance that their primarch lives.
I think that's the safest approach. I prefer the "it really is a mystery, even to the Legion itself" - and so the very hardline "nuh uh, Alpharius is totally alive and awesome and a secret loyalist" view is equally as flawed as "yeah, he's super dead".


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Wyldhunt wrote:
 harlokin wrote:
There is nothing more tiresome about Alpha Legion and their fanboys than the constant "aha, just as planned" in response to every defeat/setback.

Alpha Legion are traitors, Alpharius is dead, Omegon is dead, everybody's dead Dave.

Admittedly, we can get a bit, "Batman always wins if he has prep time," about things. However, the events of Praetorians of Dorn are significantly more out of character and stupid if you assume Alpharius was sincerely just trying to talk Dorn into switching sides during the galaxy's most elaborately arranged sparring match. And if there isn't something more going on, then the twins' deaths become narratively wasteful and pointless.

Keep in mind the writer for Praetorian is a raging Imperial Fists fanboy and writes as such. Of course he'd get stuff wrong.

CaptainStabby wrote:
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 vipoid wrote:
Indeed - what sort of bastard would want to use their codex?

 MarsNZ wrote:
ITT: SoB players upset that they're receiving the same condescending treatment that they've doled out in every CSM thread ever.
 
   
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Sgt_Smudge wrote:
Wyldhunt wrote:I feel like that novel is kind of attempting to comment on this topic. It's not that the novel is trying to lend credence to the idea that one of the primarchs does exist. It's confirming that a large number of alpha legionaires don't know for certain that one of the twins is alive and saying it's okay for your army to think that they are or want them to be. The book starts by talking about how this particular group of AL perform harrowings reminiscent of the Great Crusade days, but also suggests that this might be somewhat out of the norm in the 41st millenium.

Basically, that book says it's valid to think that one of the twins is alive or not. That your AL can perform intricate harrowings or just be aimless scum leading manipulated cultists. It's canon that the AL as a whole isn't following some elaborate scheme laid down by the twins, but it's also canon that members of the legion have decided there's a reasonable chance that their primarch lives.
I think that's the safest approach. I prefer the "it really is a mystery, even to the Legion itself" - and so the very hardline "nuh uh, Alpharius is totally alive and awesome and a secret loyalist" view is equally as flawed as "yeah, he's super dead".


Agreed. Mostly. Leave it ambiguous serves the function of letting AL players imagine it either way. Making it canon that he's dead would force players to frame AL warbands that believe their primarch is alive as tragically incorrect rather than desperately hopeful. It's more useful, from a hobby perspective, to leave it ambiguous. On the other hand, I feel like leaving it a mystery permanently partially robs it of its potential. If I go to my deathbed with it being left unclear, I'll have had a lifetime to ponder the cool possibilities, but also it will mean that I never got to enjoy the satisfying payoff of a clever long-con or of finding out whether or not my pet theories are correct.

Leaving it ambiguous is probably for the best even though I personally like to believe at least one twin is still out there.

Slayer-Fan123 wrote:
Wyldhunt wrote:
 harlokin wrote:
There is nothing more tiresome about Alpha Legion and their fanboys than the constant "aha, just as planned" in response to every defeat/setback.

Alpha Legion are traitors, Alpharius is dead, Omegon is dead, everybody's dead Dave.

Admittedly, we can get a bit, "Batman always wins if he has prep time," about things. However, the events of Praetorians of Dorn are significantly more out of character and stupid if you assume Alpharius was sincerely just trying to talk Dorn into switching sides during the galaxy's most elaborately arranged sparring match. And if there isn't something more going on, then the twins' deaths become narratively wasteful and pointless.

Keep in mind the writer for Praetorian is a raging Imperial Fists fanboy and writes as such. Of course he'd get stuff wrong.

Well, at that point we're starting to get into death of the author territory. If the story the author intended to tell is less fun than the story I walked away with, and if the events of the story are ambiguous enough to make the story I walked away with viable, then I'm going to go ahead and interpret the more fun version of the story as I enjoy my hobby. The various threads where people chime in saying that Alpharius lives lends credence to the idea that a twin's survival is reasonably possible, and Alpharius trying to talk things out with Dorn during a cage match is silly and less interesting (to me) than my own pet theory. So... yeah.
   
Made in us
Stealthy Grot Snipa





Atlanta, GA

Keep in mind the writer for Praetorian is a raging Imperial Fists fanboy and writes as such. Of course he'd get stuff wrong.


It definitely came across that way. I liked Praetorian of Dorn up until the end, but even for me the Imperial Fists chapters dragged on. Lots of "this legion is incredible and can certainly do no wrong whatsoever" subtext in there.
   
Made in gb
Longtime Dakkanaut



London

 Gert wrote:

The Alpha Legion was also very disunited when it came to the Heresy and there are many incidents of Alpha Legion forces attacking each other or working against the greater plans of the Traitors. Even post-Heresy some still consider themselves Loyalists.


I like the fluff (Chaos codex? can't remember where) where the AL is described and one of the theories is even the legion didn't know its own size. Multiple crusade forces all thinking they were the bulk of the legion, aware of other minor fleets but thinking they were the main legion strength.

I also like the idea of the legion getting so tangled that it had already started to disintegrate prior to the heresy, that the twins had expanded and expanded and started losing control over what was an organisation designed to be highly independent and opaque as well as manifesting itself as prideful and arrogant.




Automatically Appended Next Post:
Wyldhunt wrote:

Admittedly, we can get a bit, "Batman always wins if he has prep time," about things. However, the events of Praetorians of Dorn are significantly more out of character and stupid if you assume Alpharius was sincerely just trying to talk Dorn into switching sides during the galaxy's most elaborately arranged sparring match. And if there isn't something more going on, then the twins' deaths become narratively wasteful and pointless.


I do like the idea that one of the Primarchs was losing the perpetual power struggle with the other one so decided they had to die in large obvious body but live on in mind.

This message was edited 2 times. Last update was at 2021/05/05 16:22:06


 
   
Made in au
Longtime Dakkanaut




If you look at Alpha Legion background in the 2nd edition Chaos Codex, it describes how they started waging their own campaign and setting their own military objectives without real reference to what others were doing.

Their "degeneration" may take a different form compared to other Legions. They may very well still think they are fighting for a goal, but they may be deceiving themselves. They may set military objectives as if they were still fighting some organized campaign, but the real objective may simply be to cause random mayhem. They may have lost their true purpose without knowing it.

For example, they may justify raiding and blowing up Imperial supply depots or capturing interstellar transports as disrupting the Imperium's supply lines, but their true effect on the overall logistical situation may be minor, insignificant or irrelevant (if for example the sector has surplus capacity or is not actively engaged in war). In reality, it may just be piracy under a different name, even if they don't themselves believe it to be such.

Even those in the Alpha Legion that believe themselves loyalists in the long run may succumb to this erosion of purpose. Their attacks might be justified as "serving the long term interests of humanity and the Emperor", or “testing the Imperium and weeding out weakness” even though it really just amounts to smash and grab raiding.

With their decentralized structure, it may also be a situation of the left hand not knowing what the right hand is doing. Instead of any coherent plan, they might just be individual units acting like any other warband, though in this case they might still be convinced they are serving some higher purpose. The Hydra keeps splitting heads and is immortal in that sense but they are all pulling in different directions without clear purpose any more.

Maybe it has gotten to the point where even if one twin survived, nobody believed they are the real Alpharius or Omegon any more. That would be very ironic way of losing control of their own Legion. Another head canon theory is perhaps after one twin died, both twins’ minds are now together in the same body. Maybe that could explain the sometimes contradictory actions of the Legion, depending on which mind is in control at any particular time.
   
Made in us
Longtime Dakkanaut




@Iracaundus: That's pretty much how I picture the state of the AL. It's consistent with Shroud of Night and Sons of the Hydra for them to be vaguely trying to stick to whatever they thought their primarch's plan/Legion's purpose was, but without orders coming from the twins, they're basically stuck guessing at what their own ultimate agenda is and trying to be useful within that framework.

So maybe you try to erode the hierarchy of the imperium (like my guys) in an effort to strengthen more adaptable, regional power structures as a way of strengthening the imperium. Or maybe you go out of your way to poke at weak points in an effort to expose them. Or maybe you decide that, without the primarchs, it's pointless to guess at what you're meant to be doing and end up falling to chaos in the traditional fashion. All of these are fun interpretations.
   
Made in us
Decrepit Dakkanaut




 Mr. Grey wrote:
Keep in mind the writer for Praetorian is a raging Imperial Fists fanboy and writes as such. Of course he'd get stuff wrong.


It definitely came across that way. I liked Praetorian of Dorn up until the end, but even for me the Imperial Fists chapters dragged on. Lots of "this legion is incredible and can certainly do no wrong whatsoever" subtext in there.

And Alpharius choosing the dumbest way to try to convince his brother that he's in the right...it's easily one of the worst Heresy books.

CaptainStabby wrote:
If Tyberos falls and needs to catch himself it's because the ground needed killing.

 jy2 wrote:
BTW, I can't wait to run Double-D-thirsters! Man, just thinking about it gets me Khorney.

 vipoid wrote:
Indeed - what sort of bastard would want to use their codex?

 MarsNZ wrote:
ITT: SoB players upset that they're receiving the same condescending treatment that they've doled out in every CSM thread ever.
 
   
 
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