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I know imperial assassins are deadly on the table top but how do you think they compare in the fluff

They are enhanced humans (I believe) but could a vindicate assassin defeat an astartes in unarmed combat? Or an ork? Or do they need their weapons?
   
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Assassins have been described as inhumanly strong, but I think Marines are stronger. Both being heavily modified from base humans. Assassins are definitely more skilled in combat. But unarmed I'd imagine that they would struggle against power armour.
   
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In "The Assassination of Gabriel Seth", the Imperial Hierarchy believe that...
Spoiler:
a single Eversor Assassin should be enough to kill Seth, but fails.
   
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Who Gabriel Seth?
   
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mrFickle wrote:
Who Gabriel Seth?
Chapter Master of the Flesh Tearers.
   
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Ignoring the usual plot armour, it depends on the Assassin.
Calidus are infiltrators most often used to eliminate targets that can be easily accessed through shapeshifting, i.e. Humans.
Culexus are used to target Psykers such as Farseers or Witches. All Culexus are Blanks which allows them to cause pain and fear in all beings with a connection to the Warp while remaining invisible to Warp entities.
Vindicare are your classic snipers. Not much else to say.
Eversor are used to utterly destroy an enemy's command structure. They will be deployed, given a specific target, and will not stop killing until that target is dead. If the Eversor is killed then it explodes as a last-ditch attempt to finish its mission.
Vanus assassins follow a more divergent route. They are the intelligence gatherers and planners who attempt to cause the deaths of their target without ever actually getting in the field. Propaganda, blackmail, and other non-violent means are how they kill their targets.
Venenum assassins are poisoners. Once again a very classic assassin trope.

Against an Astartes in combat, the Eversor or Culexus has the greatest chance.
   
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Every assassin could kill an astartes if given time to prepare. If they have to face one unprepared then the eversor, culexus and callidus all stand good chances winning 1v1. In the book nemesis an eversor assasin takes on a space marine and kills him. Though it’s not really a surprise, the eversor is the most combat focused of the bunch.

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. 
   
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 Gert wrote:
Ignoring the usual plot armour, it depends on the Assassin.
Calidus are infiltrators most often used to eliminate targets that can be easily accessed through shapeshifting, i.e. Humans.
Culexus are used to target Psykers such as Farseers or Witches. All Culexus are Blanks which allows them to cause pain and fear in all beings with a connection to the Warp while remaining invisible to Warp entities.
Vindicare are your classic snipers. Not much else to say.
Eversor are used to utterly destroy an enemy's command structure. They will be deployed, given a specific target, and will not stop killing until that target is dead. If the Eversor is killed then it explodes as a last-ditch attempt to finish its mission.
Vanus assassins follow a more divergent route. They are the intelligence gatherers and planners who attempt to cause the deaths of their target without ever actually getting in the field. Propaganda, blackmail, and other non-violent means are how they kill their targets.
Venenum assassins are poisoners. Once again a very classic assassin trope.

Against an Astartes in combat, the Eversor or Culexus has the greatest chance.

Good breakdown. Basically, it's not out of the question for an assassin to kill an astartes in a cage match, but their odds would be a lot worse without their equipment. A vindicaire without his guns is still a top-notch martial artist with either augmented or at least peak human physical strength. But he's probably not astartes strong, and surely not as astartes durable despite what his in-game statline says). In King Maker, we see a Vindicaire take out a squad of elite soldiers using a variety of methods. Most of them involved his gear; some of them were just martial arts moves. So we know they're far from incompetent without their traditional gear.

Also, it depends on what you mean by "unarmed" and "defeat". Does an Eversor still have his drug dispensers? Does he "defeat" the astartes in the cage match if he has to explode to do it? Does a venenum win if she covers the arena in lethal poisons before the match begins?


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Back in 2nd edition it was a no-contest. Every Assassin was a combat monster that could beat marines into a fine pâté if it weren’t for their pesky armour. Eversors and Callidus had power weapon-equivalent gear and so were easily able to destroy anything they got close enough to. They got nerfed hard in 3rd edition and later because of an extreme overreaction to the one-trick-pony ploy of issuing a Vortex Grenade to a Callidus and having her replace a member of the enemy commander’s retinue so she could basically drop it on the boss’ head on T1.
Because clearly the problem was all assassins, not the existence of degenerate wargear cards or the option for such an individual to take one.

Anyway, fluffwise, Imperial Assassins very nearly are space marines; they have a number of similar implants plus some stuff that marines don’t. No Black Carapace though, or primarch-derived genetics. Eversors in particular have an extra heart to keep up with the insane requirements of their bodies. Combined with the extremity of their training and conditioning they should be able to take pretty much any marine.

The problem is that they are expensive; marines can be mass-produced and the cultured organs reproduce themselves without outside intervention. Assassin implants are custom built for each Assassin, same as how each Exitus Rifle is tailored and balanced for that specific Vindicare so each new Assassin is a project unto themselves with potentially experimental tweaks at the whim of the Temple.

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 Mr_Rose wrote:
each new Assassin is a project unto themselves with potentially experimental tweaks at the whim of the Temple.
This can get kind of absurd. Like that time a Callidus was modified with extra arms, along the polymorph, to take the place of a purestrain geenestealer. It had something to do with infiltrating and taking over a gene stealer cult. It’s very silly but also kind of awesome.

On a side note eversors are known for being as much an issue to loyalists as to its actual target. If it’s told to go kill it will not stop killing no matter who gets there. I think there’s a short story in one of the roleplay books about an eversor who’s containment breaks on a spaceship. It’s last command was to kill everything on sight. It then proceeds to murder every single person on the ship. That’s the population of a modern day city.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2022/08/14 11:15:22


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. 
   
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The Assassin should win every time unless we're talking about the absolute best Marine combatants. Assassins, like Marines, start out as human and then undergo their own process of enhancements, winding up as an even more extreme superhuman. Their stats in-game have always been way beyond the average marine. Their stats in-game are still representing the assassin with synskin, however, but the differences in abilities are still huge. Imo the bare assassin would still be the better "cage fighter" by a fair margin. Assassins after all are boutique-style, souped up killers that are usually intended to carry out their missions alone and with little to no support. A 1v1 fight for any of them should be a no-contest scenario.

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 Wyldhunt wrote:
Does an Eversor still have his drug dispensers?

I'd hope so, otherwise the drug cocktail in their system may go critical, leading to a BOOM!

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 Kanluwen wrote:
This is, emphatically, why I will continue suggesting nuking Guard and starting over again. It's a legacy army that needs to be rebooted with a new focal point.

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 Insectum7 wrote:
The Assassin should win every time unless we're talking about the absolute best Marine combatants. Assassins, like Marines, start out as human and then undergo their own process of enhancements, winding up as an even more extreme superhuman. Their stats in-game have always been way beyond the average marine. Their stats in-game are still representing the assassin with synskin, however, but the differences in abilities are still huge. Imo the bare assassin would still be the better "cage fighter" by a fair margin. Assassins after all are boutique-style, souped up killers that are usually intended to carry out their missions alone and with little to no support. A 1v1 fight for any of them should be a no-contest scenario.


So who do you think could beat an assassin 1v1? Would it have to be someone like guilliman? Ghaz? Lucius?
   
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mrFickle wrote:
 Insectum7 wrote:
The Assassin should win every time unless we're talking about the absolute best Marine combatants. Assassins, like Marines, start out as human and then undergo their own process of enhancements, winding up as an even more extreme superhuman. Their stats in-game have always been way beyond the average marine. Their stats in-game are still representing the assassin with synskin, however, but the differences in abilities are still huge. Imo the bare assassin would still be the better "cage fighter" by a fair margin. Assassins after all are boutique-style, souped up killers that are usually intended to carry out their missions alone and with little to no support. A 1v1 fight for any of them should be a no-contest scenario.


So who do you think could beat an assassin 1v1? Would it have to be someone like guilliman? Ghaz? Lucius?
Daemon Princes, high level Custodes, a SM Captain of he's having a good day. That sort of thing.

Psyker/anti-psyker plays into it if we get Librarians or Culexus involved, obviously.

Actually, if I remember right, the Cexus helm is there to selectively shield others from the abhorrent nature of the pariah gene, so maybe the culexus has an advantage in the sense that 'naked' they're more dangerous than having some of their equipment. It's been a while since I've reviewed that fluff though. . .

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You also need to keep in mind Assassins aren’t just roving the Galaxy. When they are abroad, they’re on specific missions.

To take out a Chaos Lord, it tends to be an Assassination Force sent.

If it’s a troublesome Governor, Demagogue etc? Vindicare is likely your candidate, perhaps a Callidus if you need them to say something very specific/be impersonated once the Nasty Bit is done.

If there’s something like a Cult needing dealt with? That’s the sort of thing an Eversor is sent into. Because when you absolutely need to kill every Melon Fancier in the Emperor Accursed room? That’s what the Eversor is for. Not just smashing the High Heedyinn, but all his mates neatly decapitating the Cult’s command structure. One also suggests this is The Right Tool when you’re about to launch a major offensive to keep them disorganised and shattered. I imagine this might be particularly effective against Genestealer Cults, as once the Patriarch and Magus are dead, they lose focus and cohesion. Yes another Purestrain will become a Patriarch - but over time, if given the chance.

The Culexus of course is super, super specialised. Whilst still a deadly combatant, there are situations and foes that Temple is simply better suited against.

Which might I send against a Chapter Master going or gone rogue? Depends. Either a Vindicare if the Chapter itself might be redeemed, or an Eversor if the Chapter might need some…..percussive guidance on the error of its ways. But certainly not a Culexus, as they’re just not suited to it.

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One on one, it depends. If both are unarmed and unarmored, then the assassin wins. With weapons, again the assassin. An unarmed astartes in PA vs an unarmed assassin would probably win, but that's just because no matter how strong you are you're not going to break ceramite with bare fists.

The assassin is trained for one on one combat soley. That is their purpose. Astartes are trained for general combat and war. The assassin is trained to swiftly eliminate solo targets very quickly and extract. A one on one combat is the assassins strength, it is not the space marines. He's not bad at it, but he is primarily trained to operate with his battle brothers.

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 Insectum7 wrote:
Daemon Princes, high level Custodes, a SM Captain of he's having a good day. That sort of thing.

Psyker/anti-psyker plays into it if we get Librarians or Culexus involved, obviously.

Actually, if I remember right, the Cexus helm is there to selectively shield others from the abhorrent nature of the pariah gene, so maybe the culexus has an advantage in the sense that 'naked' they're more dangerous than having some of their equipment. It's been a while since I've reviewed that fluff though. . .


Daemon Princes lol? You think way too much of assassins

An average Custodian would beat most assassins. No need to dip into the stronger ones.

As to the question, an average Marine would be badly outperformed by an assassin in the assassin's specialty. So a Vindicare would outshoot most Marines, and an Eversor would outfight them.
   
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 Void__Dragon wrote:
 Insectum7 wrote:
Daemon Princes, high level Custodes, a SM Captain of he's having a good day. That sort of thing.

Psyker/anti-psyker plays into it if we get Librarians or Culexus involved, obviously.

Actually, if I remember right, the Cexus helm is there to selectively shield others from the abhorrent nature of the pariah gene, so maybe the culexus has an advantage in the sense that 'naked' they're more dangerous than having some of their equipment. It's been a while since I've reviewed that fluff though. . .


Daemon Princes lol? You think way too much of assassins

An average Custodian would beat most assassins. No need to dip into the stronger ones.

As to the question, an average Marine would be badly outperformed by an assassin in the assassin's specialty. So a Vindicare would outshoot most Marines, and an Eversor would outfight them.
Out of armor and without equipment? No, I think assassins carry the edge over any infantry in a 1v1. Their stats have consistently been very good throughout editions. They're hyper specialized souped up humans who's ONLY purpose is to kill.

Once a Marine or Custodes is in their armor, the assassin has to contend with that and all that comes with it. Without armor though? Assassin ftw, every time.

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 Insectum7 wrote:
Out of armor and without equipment? No, I think assassins carry the edge over any infantry in a 1v1. Their stats have consistently been very good throughout editions. They're hyper specialized souped up humans who's ONLY purpose is to kill.

Once a Marine or Custodes is in their armor, the assassin has to contend with that and all that comes with it. Without armor though? Assassin ftw, every time.


Wait, we were talking out of armour and without equipment?

The Custodes would punch the assassin's fething head off.

Even on the tabletop where Custodes are somewhat less than they are in the fluff (where a random Custodian mogs Space Marine captains and chapter masters) even with the five attacks of the Assassin they are likely to do less wounds to a Custodian Guard than the reverse. Because the spindly assassin's S4 fists have trouble putting a dent in the chad T5 Custodian. Bear in mind that both of these models also have a 4+ invulnerable that is not dependent on equipment.

"The cellular alchemy that creates the warriors of the Adeptus Custodes leaves them forever touched by a spark of the Emperor’s own greatness. Beyond their martial might and incorruptible nobility, this energy manifests itself as an almost supernatural warding, as though the Custodians were protected by the hand of the Emperor. Bullets and bolts are turned aside at the last moment, blades fail to strike home, and even the psychic powers of the foe can suddenly and inexplicably flicker away to nothing in the face of the Ten Thousand."

Also bear in mind the math didn't take any army or subfaction bonuses in mind, which would only give the Custodes the further edge.

Also, your analysis of the assassins kind of holds water when comparing them to Astartes, but not Custodians. Custodes aren't general line infantry the way guardsmen or even Astartes are. They're an entire faction of renaissance men marty stus who are better than you at basically everything.

I'm not even sure I'd give them the win over an Astartes with those stips. Both are S and T 4 on the tabletop but that's an abstraction. I've never seen anything indicating they are as physically formidable as Astartes and given that their genetic modification of their physique specifically isn't nearly as extensive as far as I know I would bet on them being weaker.

They are certainly physically far inferior to Custodes.
   
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Well, as a foundation Assassins in 2nd edition held better stats than a Space Marine Captain. Possibly they had the best base stats out of any single Imperial model, period.

Looking at the 8th ed Indexes, I'm still looking at far-better-than-a-marine. 7" move, WS BS 2+, S4 t4, 5W, 5A, Ld9 and a 4+ invuln for dodging. Those are still better-than-an-SM-Captian stats, plus more wounds and attacks than a Custodes (and faster).

How much of that is the synskin? Certainly some. But even without they're able to punch through steel (2nd ed Codex Imperialis) and ignore pain. Assassins undergo years of surgery and transformation, not unlike a Custodes or Space Marine. They're really just another type of hyper-augmented human, even more exotic, and one that doesn't get talked about nearly as much. They're even more rare and much more secretive.

As 40K lacks granularity I'd be interested to see what the Inquisition game, or the RPG has to say about them. But 40K wise, the Assassin is another "transhuman" and one that's always had FAR superior stats than your average marine.

As for Custodes, I'd still give the win to the Assassins on the account of the Custodes lore being so incredibly dumb. And despite the super-duper-lore, the base Custodes is 3W 3A, to the Assassins 5/5.

. . .

Reminder that there are two types of assassins. There's the mere-human Death Cult Assassins. Those are nothing close to the Officio Assassinorum operatives.

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 Grey Templar wrote:
The assassin is trained for one on one combat soley. That is their purpose. Astartes are trained for general combat and war. The assassin is trained to swiftly eliminate solo targets very quickly and extract. A one on one combat is the assassins strength, it is not the space marines. He's not bad at it, but he is primarily trained to operate with his battle brothers.

That's going to depend very much on the Temple - an Eversor is there when you need to kill every breathing creature in a building, and possibly the building itself, for example, while a Vindicare is intended to be one shot, one kill, one individual (generally - some missions may involve multiple targets). Culevus is probably normally a single target, but would be equally dangerous to an entire cabal of psykers. Callidus could be surgical, or could be a bit more mass damage, depending on their approach.

Venenum and Vanus would be tricky to determine, as we've never really seen clearly how they operate - but I could easily see a Venenum doing a mass poisoning, or a Vanus messing with information to lead to a strike that takes out an entire regiment (or equivalent grouping).

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 Kanluwen wrote:
This is, emphatically, why I will continue suggesting nuking Guard and starting over again. It's a legacy army that needs to be rebooted with a new focal point.

Confirmation of why no-one should listen to Kanluwen when it comes to the IG - he doesn't want the IG, he want's Kan's New Model Army... 
   
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Also worth keeping in mind the Temples we know of are simply the major Temples, and don’t preclude other, far more niche Temples existing.

For instance, we can’t rule out a Temple where the operatives put proper in industrial meat grinders. Yes it seems ludicrous and I am being silly with that specific example, but Necromunda has shown industrial meat grinders absolutely exist.

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There is a (canon?) example of a Venenum operative that was sent to target a single rogue governor but when she got there (warp storm delayed) the man had retired/died and put in place a ruling council.
So she poisoned every seat in the parliament building the night before the annual ceremonial opening.

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Can we stop comparing things like this? It entirely depends on who is writing the book. Your own personal head cannon is worthless when depicting a proverbial demi-god like a Custodian, to a mere human with advanced tech and training. They are merely a step above a Scion. They are not a step into the same STATE as a Astartes, or the same planet as a Custodian. And a Daemon Prince? Feth off with that nonsense. Even Chapter Masters are wary of Daemon princes.
   
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FezzikDaBullgryn wrote:
Can we stop comparing things like this? It entirely depends on who is writing the book. Your own personal head cannon is worthless when depicting a proverbial demi-god like a Custodian, to a mere human with advanced tech and training. They are merely a step above a Scion. They are not a step into the same STATE as a Astartes, or the same planet as a Custodian. And a Daemon Prince? Feth off with that nonsense. Even Chapter Masters are wary of Daemon princes.

^Says to stop comparing things. Immediately compares things.
Blames headcannon, then immediately headcannons.

"Merely a step above a scion"? . . . really?


From my limited knowledge of the HH series, my understanding is that several missions of single Assassins were sent to kill Horus. A Primarch. Now, those missions did fail, but there had to be some belief in a chance of success of working out, and Horus was a Primarch. A single Assassin was also sent at another Primarch, Kurze. Kurze likely let himself die. . . but still, only a single assassin was sent. One Assassin did blow the head off one of Horus's Captains in the process.

According to lexicanum (I think), Assassins undergo ten years body-mod surgery in addition to training. Officio Assassinorum Assassins, Marines, and Custodes are all similar in that they start as a normal human, and are then tricked out for purpose in their respective "processing". They absolutely occupy similar spaces of "superhuman". Demi-god, supersoldier, murderdrone, whatever.

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Ignoring all the stuff about rules, a couple of points.
1 - Many assasins were sent to try and kill Horus with the hope that they would succeed. When it became obvious they didn't stand a chance the first Execution Force was convened and that failed as well. As for Curze, he let himself die so his actions would be punished which then justified his philosophy that people who did bad things needed punishing. At his death, Curze was vindicated in his beliefs.
2 - Yes assassins are super-human, just not as super-human as an Astartes. Almost every instance of background where an assassin kills an Astartes is by doing assassin things like snipers, shape-shifting or being a living bomb. One on one in a ring with no weapons and just their skills the assassin barely makes it either way.
   
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For no.2, the stats say very much otherwise, to which I chalk it up to "as the story necessitates".

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 Dysartes wrote:
 Grey Templar wrote:
The assassin is trained for one on one combat soley. That is their purpose. Astartes are trained for general combat and war. The assassin is trained to swiftly eliminate solo targets very quickly and extract. A one on one combat is the assassins strength, it is not the space marines. He's not bad at it, but he is primarily trained to operate with his battle brothers.

That's going to depend very much on the Temple - an Eversor is there when you need to kill every breathing creature in a building, and possibly the building itself, for example, while a Vindicare is intended to be one shot, one kill, one individual (generally - some missions may involve multiple targets). Culevus is probably normally a single target, but would be equally dangerous to an entire cabal of psykers. Callidus could be surgical, or could be a bit more mass damage, depending on their approach.

Venenum and Vanus would be tricky to determine, as we've never really seen clearly how they operate - but I could easily see a Venenum doing a mass poisoning, or a Vanus messing with information to lead to a strike that takes out an entire regiment (or equivalent grouping).

Yeah, assassins are badasses, but I'm not sure it's accurate to describe them as being "trained for one on one combat soley." The whole point of assassins seems to be that they find ways to kill the target regardless of what's around said target. Need to kill a target who's paranoid to have a wall of bodyguards surrounding him at all times? Assassins will figure out how to get at him. They'll spend months going through combat drills where all they do is dismantle the bodyguards' favorite formations over and over again.

In fact, that's kind of a major consideration that the implied cage match scenario seems to disregard. Part of what makes assassins so lethal is that they don't have to think of their job as a straight up battle. Maybe a calidus can outduel a marine captain, and maybe she can't, but I imagine she'd much rather decapitate him from behind on the way to the bathroom than challenge him to a fight. Maybe a vindicaire could win a 1v1 on an island arena, but but he'd rather snipe his target to death while they brush their teeth. And assassins are very, very good at getting access to your bathroom.


ATTENTION
. Psychic tests are unfluffy. Your longing for AV is understandable but misguided. Your chapter doesn't need a separate codex. Doctrines should go away. Being a "troop" means nothing. This has been a cranky service announcement. You may now resume your regularly scheduled arguing.
 
   
Made in us
The Conquerer






Waiting for my shill money from Spiral Arm Studios

The reason I say that is because if an assassin is fighting a bunch of bodyguards at once, the mission has gone tits up. Ideally, they only ever face their target. Even more ideally, the target never realizes till he is dead. But in the event the target does become aware, they need to end him before he can call for help.

Sure, there is the Eversor assassin, but aside from that the assassins aren't meant for brute force assaults. They're meant to sneak in, have a one v one, and then leave. So a one v one is mostly what they have trained for. Not an honorable duel of course, they're never meant to have a "fair fight" as it were. They're not going to attack a dude who is currently surrounded by bodyguards unless they are an Eversor(because that is their purpose) or a Vindicare(cheating with a sniper rifle).

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2022/08/16 05:00:38


Self-proclaimed evil Cat-person. Dues Ex Felines

Cato Sicarius, after force feeding Captain Ventris a copy of the Codex Astartes for having the audacity to play Deathwatch, chokes to death on his own D-baggery after finding Calgar assembling his new Eldar army.

MURICA!!! IN SPESS!!! 
   
 
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