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Made in ca
Kroot Carnivore





Okay, so this has been rattling around in my brain for a long time now and I wanted to get both get it off my chest and hear what everyone else thinks about it. Basically, I think that even with their Superhuman Chad Marine status, 1000 members for a chapter is just too small for a universe like 40k.

So, lets take the boys in blue as an example of my point here since there is a lot of lore to find on them. I'm going to just use the last 25 years of M41 here as a sample.

974: Fall of Damnos: Ultramarines 2nd Company suffered heavy casualties from Necron forces, loosing approximately 60 battle brothers, as well as multiple tanks and Dreadnoughts.
982: Gurun System Conflict: Ultramarines 4th Company shot down an Ork Warship over the world of Womo, destroying the Orks and slaying the Warboss at the cost of 17 battle brothers and Captain Tiy Newman.
984: Burbeck’s Asteroid: Marneus Calgar led an unspecified number of Ultramarines against the Ork Warlord Shaggro Worldwrecker’s asteroid fortress. Casualties were high as well as losing the entire complement of Dreadnoughts to a massive melta trap. Though the Ultramarines did finally carry the day after Calgar committed his aerial reserves to the fight, it is stated that they came very close to defeat.
992: Ichar IV: The start of the second Tyranic War, Calgar led an undisclosed, but large number of Ultramarines, to aid the Scythes of the Emperor and Lementors against Hive Fleet Kraken. Losses confirmed as very heavy for the Ultramarines and near total for the other two chapters.
997: Zeist Campaign: Ultramarines 2nd Company strikes against the well defended Tau in the Ziest sector. Though successful, they are the only SM forces in the are until some time later when nearly a dozen other chapters arrive to push the Tau out of the system. Casualties’ unknown.
999: Battle of Tarsis Ultra: Ultramarines 4th Company suffered heavy losses against the Tyranids, then potentially wiped out when the world was destroyed soon after by the Iron warriors Warsmith Honsu, but total loss is unconfirmed.
999: Second Battle for Damnos: Calgar leads a large force of Ultramarines, including Sicarius’ 2nd Company back to Damnos. They suffer heavy casualties but cleanse the world of Necrons.
999: Invasion of Ultramar: Warsmith Honsu invades Ultramar, the defence costing the lives of 397 Battle Brothers across all companies. (Unknown if this includes the losses from Tarsis Ultra or not.)
999: Liberation of Lagan: Ultramarines 3rd Company liberate Lagan from Tau forces. Casualties’ unknown.
999: 13th Black Crusade: Ultramarines Honour Company (Comprised from members of successor chapters as well, seems outside the 1000 Codex required. Odd for Ultramarines.) Participated in many major engagements, though combat strength and losses are unknown.
999: Siege of Fenris: Ultramarines 6th company arrives alongside massive relief force to aid the Space Wolves. Losses unknown.
999: The Ultramar Campaign: The system is besieged by yet more Chaos forces; losses are high before Guilliman is resurrected and turns the tide of battle.

The final year of the timeline seems a bit muddled, Warp travel and such will do that. It is also clear that it was an unprecedented year of conflict, but even so, the galaxy is always at war and the Space Marines, always fighting. I know that they get Primaris reinforcements and all after this, but I’m using this as an example of any given point it time from the end of the HH to the current.

How can they possibly keep up recruitment to stem the losses that are seen here, or that would be seen across any of the Space Marine chapters if we had the full knowledge of every conflict every company fought in over this period? The process of creating a Space Marine is not an easy one, taking 5-10 years minimum. Not to mention transport time to find wherever the company currently is fighting to delivery reinforcing troops. On top of that, to be Codex complaint, they can’t surpass 100 battle brothers per Company, so by the time reinforcements arrive, they will likely have sustained more losses in the interim even if you disregard the delay in actually creating a Space Marine.

On top of all that, regardless of how strong an individual Space Marine is, they can’t be everywhere, and 100 battle brothers can only do so much, even if they were somehow at full combat strength. They would need to be used almost exclusively in support of other Imperial units in order to actually accomplish anything beyond Assassination and/or Spec Ops deployments. Yet we often see them campaigning on their own, or with minimal support except in the largest of conflicts.

For example, I’m reading Farsight, Crisis of Faith right now and the Scar Lords chapter loses a full combat squad to a single Broadside, then another to a single XV8 Iridium Crisis suit and 2 sniper drones. There’s also the short story Kayoun where a single pathfinder and about a dozen drones takes out an entire Imperial convoy as well as their Space Marine escort. Each of these comparatively minor incidents would be a serious blow to the companies involved and seem like they would hardly be a rarity in the war torn 41st millennium.

So, how would this go about being fixed to make more sense, not just from losses sustained, but from the sense of actually being able to carry out a military campaign over anything other than a tiny theatre of war and the logistics of reinforcing to a significant degree? I mean, out of all the words to describe Space Marine conflicts in the lore, “tiny” hardly ever comes to mind.

My solution would be to make a very tiny errata to literally everything Space Marine related. Add a 0 to every number. Chapters would be 10,000 strong with companies or 1000. This would still be very small on a galactic scale but would actually make sense as a fighting force that (combined with how strong they are) could carry out military campaigns on their own. It also makes the wildly varied effectiveness of the Space Marines make more sense. In a particularly hard battle a few dozen battle brothers dying is a massive blow if your strength is only 100, but just a setback if you have 1000. In the larger conflicts loosing 396 out of 1000 marines, when you're already not at full strength is a devastating blow, but 3960 out of 10000, while proportionally the same, still leaves you with a respectable fighting force at the end of it all. With wars that companies can be committed to for years or more, the manpower just wouldn’t last at 100, no matter how strong Space Marines are.

Anyhow, I think that I’ve rambled long enough, what do you all think? Agree, disagree? Flaw in my logic somewhere?

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Chapters having 1000 Astartes is the guideline of the Codex Astartes but in reality its probably more around 1250-1500 excluding Aspirants. The Chapter Librarius, Reclusiasm, Forge, and Apothecarium will usually have a large amount of members. Including pilots, drivers, other vehicle crew and fleet officers we can expand even further.
   
Made in gb
Stalwart Dark Angels Space Marine





East Midlands UK

Having lost half a company in some of my worst games all I can think is that new recruits must be sprinting through the indoctrination process. Since the early days the first founding chapters have taken the spotlight and seem to be everywhere, doing everything. That makes no sense for such tiny chapters. Originally there were meant to be thousands of there tiny forces but with the rise of named characters and now stratagems and traits, it has made the big five even more attractive. They just are not big enough to live up to the background.
   
Made in gb
Executing Exarch





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


"AND YET YOU ACT AS IF THERE IS SOME IDEAL ORDER IN THE WORLD, AS IF THERE IS SOME...SOME RIGHTNESS IN THE UNIVERSE BY WHICH IT MAY BE JUDGED." 
   
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TBF the First Founding Chapters are going going have large pools of Aspirants to make Astartes from and Chapters like the Imperial Fists and Ultramarines have very stable gene-seed that has very high implantation success rates.
Also OP the battle for Taris Ultra was seperate from the incident with Honsou. Honsou destroyed the planet some time after the 4th had left and rebuilt its numbers in time for the Invasion of Ultramar by the Bloodborn.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2021/07/19 20:48:07


 
   
Made in ca
Kroot Carnivore





 ZenBadger wrote:
Having lost half a company in some of my worst games all I can think is that new recruits must be sprinting through the indoctrination process. Since the early days the first founding chapters have taken the spotlight and seem to be everywhere, doing everything. That makes no sense for such tiny chapters. Originally there were meant to be thousands of there tiny forces but with the rise of named characters and now stratagems and traits, it has made the big five even more attractive. They just are not big enough to live up to the background.


Yeah, exactly. It would make it fit more with battles on the Tabletop too.


Automatically Appended Next Post:
 Gert wrote:
TBF the First Founding Chapters are going going have large pools of Aspirants to make Astartes from and Chapters like the Imperial Fists and Ultramarines have very stable gene-seed that has very high implantation success rates.
Also OP the battle for Taris Ultra was seperate from the incident with Honsou. Honsou destroyed the planet some time after the 4th had left and rebuilt its numbers in time for the Invasion of Ultramar by the Bloodborn.


Good to know, but since they were both in aprox 999, where did the 4th Company get the manpower to get back to full strength before the Invasion of Ultramar? I suppose they could have been assigned new marines upon their return, so long as they were already ready, but again it takes years if not a decade to make a Space Marine. The scout company is only so big as well, it can't re-enforce indefinitely. They would have been practically bled dry after the second Tyranic war, with little opportunity to provide reinforcements in the years that followed. They would still be scrambling with backlog in 999.

Even if their gene-seed was 100% success, (which I think Ultramarines are the closest too) and even assuming that all the required aspirants were ready when needed (likely only close to achievable in a popular first founding chapter, if that) it still doesn't take out any of the logistical problems actually getting those reinforcements where they need to go, when they are needed. Travel in the warp can take months or years. Say a company sustains 20% casualties and sends for reinforcements. Their 20 fresh faced marines arrive a year later to a company already having been in conflict for a full year depleting its strength further. You'd have to have a steady stream of new recruits coming in constantly, but that stops when you hit 100, or 150ish with support marines / pilots / ect... If the supply was constant... maybe possible, but the long lag from a fully operational company tot he time they would see their first reinforcements is just so long, it would be very easy to see them wiped out before any of their numbers could be replenished. Keep in mind, these guys are almost always fighting and thus typically sustaining at least a small number of casualties in those conflicts.

This message was edited 3 times. Last update was at 2021/07/19 21:03:53


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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.

   
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Firstly, ignore the timestamp. There is no way to know when exactly in 999.M41 Tarsis Ultra was invaded. Time is basically meaningless in 40k anyway.
Secondly, in times of crisis Aspirants can be turned into full Astartes without the need for progression through the Scout Company. So if there's 200 Aspirants simply waiting for positions in the Scout Company to open up, stick the last bits of squishy bits inside them, strap them in PA and let their experience come when already a full Astartes.
Thirdly, casualties can range from wounded to dead. Half a Company of casualties could just mean half a wounded Company, after all Astartes do not die easily.
   
Made in ca
Kroot Carnivore





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.

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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.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2021/07/19 21:24:03


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


It is also a reference to the breakdown of Roman legions into their smaller and more numerous late antique counterparts. It is designed to better patrol a wider area in more mobile small units as opposed to a large legion designed for conquest, and make treachery somewhat more difficult by shrinking the power of the army's standard unit.

And has been stated, the Adeptus Astartes in the Age of Imperium (not the early Imperium) are small special forces.

This message was edited 2 times. Last update was at 2021/07/19 21:27:02


   
Made in ca
Kroot Carnivore





 Gert wrote:
Firstly, ignore the timestamp. There is no way to know when exactly in 999.M41 Tarsis Ultra was invaded. Time is basically meaningless in 40k anyway.
Secondly, in times of crisis Aspirants can be turned into full Astartes without the need for progression through the Scout Company. So if there's 200 Aspirants simply waiting for positions in the Scout Company to open up, stick the last bits of squishy bits inside them, strap them in PA and let their experience come when already a full Astartes.
Thirdly, casualties can range from wounded to dead. Half a Company of casualties could just mean half a wounded Company, after all Astartes do not die easily.


True, the warp does mess with stuff, but I figured at least it meant they happened more-less around that time give or take a few years. (I know that the jury's out on if it is even the 42nd melenium yet, but I figure even with a galactic discrepancy of 10% 7 years shouldn't have too much of a discrepancy, 2-3 tops?)

That is true, I guess it does depend on how many aspirants are kicking around. Still I'm using the Ultramarines as (aside from the non codex compliant chapters) they are the most likely to receive the best support and reinforcements. This situation is even worse to the other chapters. Even with 200 ready to go, a large campaign like the second Tyranic war uses that up, then you're SOL for the next half a decade while you train more aspirants? It could work in a vacuum, but not when you're in a state of constant warfare.

That's true too, it is hard to pin down exact numbers. I think they only ones that were that specific was that only 40 marines made it off Damnos, confirming 60 plus support dead as they were at full strength upon deployment. Even if only half the actual numbers died, these are just the conflicts we know about. Once again, these guys are constantly at war, there would be many more losses that are not recorded on the list I put together.


Automatically Appended Next Post:
 Karak Norn Clansman wrote:
 Turnip Jedi wrote:
I think the 1000 Chapters of a 1000 marines was just something that sounded cool at the time of RT


It is also a reference to the breakdown of Roman legions into their smaller and more numerous late antique counterparts. It is designed to better patrol a wider area in more mobile small units as opposed to a large legion designed for conquest, and make treachery somewhat more difficult by shrinking the power of the army's standard unit.

And has been stated, the Adeptus Astartes in the Age of Imperium (not the early Imperium) are small special forces.


Great point about the Roman Legions, I'd forgotten about that.

I guess maybe the question should then be, why don't the Space Marines act like a small specialist force, when that is what they are supposed to be. XD

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2021/07/19 21:31:18


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Made in ca
Stormin' Stompa






Ottawa, ON

This could be an issue of different authors writing different stories. No story is complete without casualties and you can't really consult every bit of lore coming out to keep track of casualties. Another issue is varying levels of plot armor. Naturally, the Farsight book is going to have the Tau killing whole squads of space marines. You need to show the Tau being effective. So the casualties pile up and suddenly 1000 marines run out rather quickly.

An interesting in-lore explanation could be that the limit of 1000 marines is simply outdated. The imperium was in a relatively stable point in it's history. Chaos forces had been driven back into the eye of terror, the necrons and tyranids were non-existent and the orks were still repopulating. And maybe there was an expectation that these new chapters would keep close ties with their parent legions. Casualties could be offset by the sharing of resources among chapters. Next thing you know, chapters are flung out into every corners of an imperium to face foes they were unprepared for with woefully inadequate supply lines.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2021/07/19 21:34:59


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Made in gb
Executing Exarch





Tawnis wrote:
 Gert wrote:

I guess maybe the question should then be, why don't the Space Marines act like a small specialist force, when that is what they are supposed to be. XD


Because handfuls of small spec ops teams running competent operations doesnt sell globs of models ?

"AND YET YOU ACT AS IF THERE IS SOME IDEAL ORDER IN THE WORLD, AS IF THERE IS SOME...SOME RIGHTNESS IN THE UNIVERSE BY WHICH IT MAY BE JUDGED." 
   
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Kroot Carnivore





 Mr Nobody wrote:
This could be an issue of different authors writing different stories. No story is complete without casualties and you can't really consult every bit of lore coming out to keep track of casualties. Another issue is varying levels of plot armor. Naturally, the Farsight book is going to have the Tau killing whole squads of space marines. You need to show the Tau being effective. So the casualties pile up and suddenly 1000 marines run out rather quickly.

An interesting in-lore explanation could be that the limit of 1000 marines is simply outdated. The imperium was in a relatively stable point in it's history. Chaos forces had been driven back into the eye of terror, the necrons and tyranids were non-existent and the orks were still repopulating. And maybe there was an expectation that these new chapters would keep close ties with their parent legions. Casualties could be offset by the sharing of resources among chapters. Next thing you know, chapters are flung out into every corners of an imperium to face foes they were unprepared for with woefully inadequate supply lines.


Yeah, exactly! With the number increased, you wouldn't have to suspend disbelief on the occasions when the Marines get outfought or just grinded down over time.

That's a great idea for a fix and it makes total sense. Given how bad the Imperium is at keeping track of everything, at some point maybe they just thought it was a decimal error and ignored it. XD I mean, if they could sell the community on Primaris, I'm sure this wouldn't be that hard to a QOL change to make things much less head scratchy.

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A lot of 40k relies on suspension of disbelief especially SM and their losses.
GW also had a love for putting stuff in 999.M41 despite there being no real reason to so half the events that everyone knows seem to take place all in the same "year".

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2021/07/19 21:49:18


 
   
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Been Around the Block





That has always been part of my headcannon that the 1000 Marines per Chapter is imperial propaganda designed to make Space Marines look a lot more impressive than they already are (and at the same time look more "manageable" in case of rebellion), and that the actual number is at least 10 times as much, if not more.
   
Made in ca
Kroot Carnivore





 Gert wrote:
A lot of 40k relies on suspension of disbelief especially SM and their losses.
GW also had a love for putting stuff in 999.M41 despite there being no real reason to so half the events that everyone knows seem to take place all in the same "year".


That is kinda the point of the comment, how could GW make the universe and the Space Marines more believable.

LoL, very true. I fell like if they hadn't moved the timeline forward we were eventually going to know what happened in every corner of the galaxy in that year. XD


Automatically Appended Next Post:
CorwinB wrote:
That has always been part of my headcannon that the 1000 Marines per Chapter is imperial propaganda designed to make Space Marines look a lot more impressive than they already are (and at the same time look more "manageable" in case of rebellion), and that the actual number is at least 10 times as much, if not more.


Ohhh, that's a really good idea too. I like that one. Not only does it fit with all the stories that exist, but feels very much like a thing that the High Lords would come up with as a propaganda tactic.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2021/07/19 22:01:49


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Look I make balloon animal

Space Marine chapters are significantly smaller than a special forces unit in real life. 1000 Marines are so few they would be militarily insignificant, especially in conflicts waged on a planetary scale.

Then again, wars in 40K don't appear to be very large. The entire 3rd War for Armageddon (supposedly one of the largest wars the Imperium ever fought) saw less men deployed than the real life Battle of Kursk in WW2. Even the Orks' numbers amount to 4 million at most, which is significantly less than real life military forces during major conflicts (the US military alone deployed over 12 million men in 1945 for example)

Sci-fi writers have no sense of scale, so Space Marine chapters are unrealistically small. But they can still have an impact within 40K because military conflicts and opposing forces are also unrealistically small.

This message was edited 2 times. Last update was at 2021/07/19 22:04:08


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Problems of early era 40k background that never got changed. Too few things in almost every single conflict.
I think Imperial Armour books handle conflicts better. The Siege of Vraks has roughly 5.5 million soldiers plus 9 Warbands of CSM and a Legio of Chaos Titans on the defence vs 34 Krieg Regiments, half the Dark Angels, and forces of the Red Scorpions, Red Hunters and Grey Knights as well as Titans. The end result saw total annihilation or retreat of the Chaos forces and 14 million dead Guardsmen, 200 Dark Angels, hundreds of Scorpions, Hunters and Knights, 4 Inquisitors and 22 Titans.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2021/07/19 22:18:31


 
   
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Kroot Carnivore





 Iron_Captain wrote:
Space Marine chapters are significantly smaller than a special forces unit in real life. 1000 Marines are so few they would be militarily insignificant, especially in conflicts waged on a planetary scale.

Then again, wars in 40K don't appear to be very large. The entire 3rd War for Armageddon (supposedly one of the largest wars the Imperium ever fought) saw less men deployed than the real life Battle of Kursk in WW2. Even the Orks' numbers amount to 4 million at most, which is significantly less than real life military forces during major conflicts (the US military alone deployed over 12 million men in 1945 for example)

Sci-fi writers have no sense of scale, so Space Marine chapters are unrealistically small. But they can still have an impact within 40K because military conflicts and opposing forces are also unrealistically small.


Yeah, that's always been a bit of a head scratcher too. I always just assumed that there were more forces that took part that weren't written about, or the numbers only encompassed part of the conflict.

So maybe it should be add a 0 to the end of every military number in 40k, not just the Space Marines?

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Last Remaining Whole C'Tan






Kind of yes, kind of no.

As a rare resource, but one capable of tipping even the direst loss into a victory, their numbers don’t matter as much as how they’re deployed.

Traditionally of course that’s identify the enemy’s command structure, get down and kick the absolute snot out of it, leaving the foe reeling, disorganised and primed for the IG’s hammer blow.

Given they can be effective even down to the squad level, those 1,000 can be spread fairly thin.

But, in the background? They’re….kinda used wrong. Committing to protracted wars, front line fighting.

Consider the various wars for Armageddon. Where was the teleport strike when Ghaz’s presence was confirmed in a given battle? Even if that strike failed, they’d take significant amounts of Ghaz’s best drinking buddies with them, which in turn still weakens fine overall Waaaagh!

Space Battles? Batter down the shields and teleport troops, or launch boarding craft and tear out the engine and/or Bridge.

When portrayed “accurately”, they’re a force multiplier for other Imperial Forces. They can survive in environments others can’t, and can fight in environments others can’t. They can reach the places other forces might struggle to reach.

Fighting trench warfare or city warfare? An Astartes is far more effective, as each Brother, even a standard Tactical Marine is an absolute terror. Imagine a single non-jump pack Assault Squad acting in a dispersed formation in amongst a trench system. They don’t need to sleep. They don’t need to eat. They don’t fatigue. Come down to it, they don’t even need bolt rounds or power for their chain swords, because they’re perfectly capable of punching your head clean off in a Jason Takes Manhattan stylee.

Sure, it’s going to take them time to wreck the place fully, but wreck it they will, because you’ve little to no chance of bringing to bear the numbers needed to slow them down, let alone actually stop them.

So in those sorts of circumstances, the background sizes work. But for how they’re all too often described in the background, their numbers are laughably ineffective.

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I have always thought it was 1000 ACTIVE marines. There would always be more marines, but only 1000 on the roster, and if there are losses, the ones waiting on the side lines would step up to fill the slots.

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If the Imperium is a million worlds, that's one marine per world. But are all those worlds in conflict at once?
If 10% of the worlds are actively being fought over, that puts a squad of marines per world. But if only 10% of ALL warzones have Space Marines involved, then a company of Marines can be deployed at each of those battles. Imo it actually starts to make sense at those numbers.

 Gert wrote:
Chapters having 1000 Astartes is the guideline of the Codex Astartes but in reality its probably more around 1250-1500 excluding Aspirants. The Chapter Librarius, Reclusiasm, Forge, and Apothecarium will usually have a large amount of members. Including pilots, drivers, other vehicle crew and fleet officers we can expand even further.
Much of the vehicle crew is also "line" marines, often from the reserve companies.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2021/07/19 22:39:36


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steelhead177th wrote:
I have always thought it was 1000 ACTIVE marines. There would always be more marines, but only 1000 on the roster, and if there are losses, the ones waiting on the side lines would step up to fill the slots.

Thats an interesting idea.
A Chapter might have 1000 Astartes out in the galaxy kicking around then 100 in recovery from battle wounds, another 100 as homeworld guards, maybe another 50 scattered about the defence fleet or on Chapter recruiting worlds.
   
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 Insectum7 wrote:

If the Imperium is a million worlds, that's one marine per world. But are all those worlds in conflict at once?
If 10% of the worlds are actively being fought over, that puts a squad of marines per world. But if only 10% of ALL warzones have Space Marines involved, then a company of Marines can be deployed at each of those battles. Imo it actually starts to make sense at those numbers.

 Gert wrote:
Chapters having 1000 Astartes is the guideline of the Codex Astartes but in reality its probably more around 1250-1500 excluding Aspirants. The Chapter Librarius, Reclusiasm, Forge, and Apothecarium will usually have a large amount of members. Including pilots, drivers, other vehicle crew and fleet officers we can expand even further.
Much of the vehicle crew is also "line" marines, often from the reserve companies.


That to me does seem about what they were going for. However, when you deploy a single company off 100 marines to a planetary engagement of 10's of millions, if not more, there is only so much they can functionally do. I mean, as posted earlier by someone, 40k planetary conflicts are laughably small numbers wise, but assuming we were going for realism and the numbers were the correct amount, aside from running a critical spec ops mission here or there, there's not much they would actually be able to do to turn the tide of the war. Even if they could win every battle they fought in, there would be so many going on that it wouldn't make a massive difference and they would eventually be whittled down.

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on the forum. Obviously

The 1000 marines element was more of a thematic element than a practical one, I think.
It's supposed to give you the idea that the Space Marines are a small and elite force that are supposed to work in conjunction with other forces.

GW was never that good with hard numbers and technical data. I think one one of the major battles (Vraks maybe?) had fewer soldiers than a major WW2 battle.

This message was edited 2 times. Last update was at 2021/07/19 23:18:39


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Tawnis wrote:
 Insectum7 wrote:

If the Imperium is a million worlds, that's one marine per world. But are all those worlds in conflict at once?
If 10% of the worlds are actively being fought over, that puts a squad of marines per world. But if only 10% of ALL warzones have Space Marines involved, then a company of Marines can be deployed at each of those battles. Imo it actually starts to make sense at those numbers.

 Gert wrote:
Chapters having 1000 Astartes is the guideline of the Codex Astartes but in reality its probably more around 1250-1500 excluding Aspirants. The Chapter Librarius, Reclusiasm, Forge, and Apothecarium will usually have a large amount of members. Including pilots, drivers, other vehicle crew and fleet officers we can expand even further.
Much of the vehicle crew is also "line" marines, often from the reserve companies.


That to me does seem about what they were going for. However, when you deploy a single company off 100 marines to a planetary engagement of 10's of millions, if not more, there is only so much they can functionally do. I mean, as posted earlier by someone, 40k planetary conflicts are laughably small numbers wise, but assuming we were going for realism and the numbers were the correct amount, aside from running a critical spec ops mission here or there, there's not much they would actually be able to do to turn the tide of the war. Even if they could win every battle they fought in, there would be so many going on that it wouldn't make a massive difference and they would eventually be whittled down.
You have to remember that they show up with fleet assets on top of their conventional stuff. They're also very good at taking out leadership as well as using oppositional assets. There's a lot of "off table" action that pertains to gaining control of the operational space in order to gain and retain the initiative.
Spoiler:

If air supremacy in the modern world is so incredibly valuable (basically dictating the terms of any conventional land battle) you can imagine what orbital supremacy could mean.

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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.
   
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on the forum. Obviously

 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.

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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