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How many companies?


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12 replies to this topic

#1
evolved23

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How many companies did the pre-heresy leigons have? I know its probably more than 13 but where did they end? Also do the unfractured Chaos leigons still use the company system. I posted this here because I feel I'll get more posts and its actually for my Night Lords (wanna make some background)

Thanks!
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Edited by evolved23, 12 June 2008 - 05:30 PM.


#2
Marshal Rohr

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You wont like the answer. Company number varied from Legion to Legion.

Ultramarine had the most companies, they ultimately had over 250,000 Marines at one point.
The other Legions were pretty big, the known small Legions were Salamanders and Raven Guard.

The Night Lords numbers were never accounted for, but since they usually attack defenseless prey they probobaly shouldn't have lost too many warriors.

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#3
tacklbry

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Angron is described in the Codex as having hit Isavan at the head of 50 companies. There were already loyalist world eaters on the ground. In older fluff, a chapter was described as a sub order of the legion, and the the Big G broke up the surviving loyalists along those lines. I always like things divisable by ten, so I figured that each legion started out with 10 chapters (so roughly 100 companies) but the last is really just my thinking.

#4
Bigger-than-Jesus

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Space Wolves had 13, Death Guard had 7, Luna Wolves had at least 19, but they use a lot of marines per company. Dark Angels had at least 22 CHAPTERS of marines as well, and I think the Emperors Children had 22+ companies as well. For the rest I have no idea, go with what feels right for you.
In Inquisitor, a Space Marine can take a krak grenade, pull out the pin, eat the grenade, throw the pin, and the thrown pin will actually kill a normal man, whereas the Space Marine won't even have indigestion.

If it takes more than 20 bolter rounds to take something down, maybe you should leave it alone...


#5
Angelwinged

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I dont know if this is has any basis in the fluff, but in the modern military a company is generally about 300 men. Give or take. So Legions with 50 companies could potentially have had 50x300 marines. Thats a lot of big mean shock troops. But companies wouldve probably been in the middle with higher echelons of organization like our modern military has, though I forget which order they go in. There battalions, brigades, divisions...stuff like that.

#6
Chapter Master Kanithon

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In the Book Fulgrim, When Captain Solomon Demeter is fighting on Atoll 19 on Laeran. Solomon says "I'm going to take Charosian's lot" meaning his squad. Later on he is says "Unsheath!" and it is said 'A hundred blades glittered in the sunlight as the circle EC drew their swords' [pg. 36]

Now that hundred marines were ONE squad, so from this we can get the idea that squads were a lot bigger and that means that companies were also a lot bigger, I'm guessing about 1000 men to a company.

The Emperor's children had 18 companies.
The Sons of Horus had 25.
The Death Guard had 7.
In the Descent of Angels, in the DRAMATIS PERSONAE, Kurgis of the White Scars is said to be a Astartes Battle-brother of the 7th Chapter.

We can get from this that the number of Companies ranged from 6 (the Salamanders only had 6000 marines) to about 250 (if the companies are arranged into 1000 man companies: 10 squads of marines all at 100 marines each) because of the beloved Ultras.

I hope this helps, I know I now want to find out the exact numbers of marines in legions now, consider this topic watched =]

Kanithon.

#7
Inquisitor Kravin

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General consensus seems to be that Pre-Heresy companies were 1000 marines but it varied. Tens of thousands of marines seems perfectly reasonable. The latest Codex:Chaos Marines and the HH artbooks suggest each legion was over a hundred thousand marines. This would make the Death Guard's seven companies huge! I think it says in the artbooks that the loyalists sent to die on Istvaan numbered over ten thousand and they were meant to be only a small portion of the overall strength of their legions. Since two thirds of them survived the virus bombing Istvaan III must have been one of the biggest ever marine on marine battles after Istvaan V.

What puzzles me is the small number of ranks. It seems that a Captain is equivalent to a post-HH Chapter Master and that a Sergeant is equivalent to a Company Captain. They must surely have had other ranks to command sub sections of the squads?
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#8
Weiss

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There were at least 2 squads with demeter at the time, I'm pretty sure. Will check Fulgrim at lunchtime. I seriously doubt they would use 100-man squads. For one, both Thunderhawks and Stormbirds would be useless, seen as neither can carry that many marines. Second, such a formation is, tactically, completely unflexible and just plain does not make sense.
If they were 100-strong, Gaius Caphen would have been in command of, I believe, about 200 astartes going round the flank, yet were getting bogged down by Laer coming out of buildings in ones and twos...

Added to that, Garro's command squad is five men strong.

I think the "hundred blades" thing was an exageration to get the imagery of the scene across... Also, Charosian's "lot" does not have to mean squad. It could conceivably be a formation equivalent to a platoon...

As regards company sizes, a lot of confusion comes from when people forget to add "great" before company when talking about the death guard, iron warriors or space wolves for example. These companies are more akin to chapters in size.

We know for sure that a Luna Wolves company contains 300 astartes (at least Loken's does). Whether this includes support staff or not is unspecified.

For the Emperor's children, the only indication of company structure/size, is when Fulgrim is giving Eidolon his orders for the peacekeeping mission. He indicates the force will be company-sized and then assigns TWO captains to it. Now whether Tarvitz and Lucius are drawing a select group of warriors from their new companies or they are junior captains so their companies are smaller is unclear. (I always thought of this as a plot device anyway, just to keep those two characters together...)

Edited by Weiss, 13 June 2008 - 11:26 AM.


#9
Angelwinged

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Youve got to remember that there are usually lots of contradictions in writing anything regarding exact numbers lol. I am sure the authors probably exaggerated for effect in many instances during battles or scenes in their books. 100 marines per squad is totally inflexible like someone said earlier. This is why I dislike a lot of official fluff, it doesnt make sense half the time. The stories are cool but when they get to the particulars, they suffer.

#10
Loken of the 10th

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We know for sure that a Luna Wolves company contains 300 astartes (at least Loken's does). Whether this includes support staff or not is unspecified.

;) SPARTANS!!!! And abaddon only had catulan and justreian so it varies. i think abaddon only had those was cuz 1st is always vetrean so wen they lost a member they would recruit from a diffrent company say 4ths terminators or 19ths assault
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#11
Perry

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theres a break down of legion organisation for the Word Bearers in Battle for the Abyss

they had numerous chapters each with a different role and of around 1000 members

#12
Bigger-than-Jesus

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It depended on Legion. DA and Ultras used chapters, Lunas, ECs, Alphas and fists used companies and IW and DG used great companies

Edited by Bigger-than-Jesus, 26 July 2008 - 07:32 PM.

In Inquisitor, a Space Marine can take a krak grenade, pull out the pin, eat the grenade, throw the pin, and the thrown pin will actually kill a normal man, whereas the Space Marine won't even have indigestion.

If it takes more than 20 bolter rounds to take something down, maybe you should leave it alone...


#13
Weiss

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We know for sure that a Luna Wolves company contains 300 astartes (at least Loken's does). Whether this includes support staff or not is unspecified.

:D SPARTANS!!!! And abaddon only had catulan and justreian so it varies. i think abaddon only had those was cuz 1st is always vetrean so wen they lost a member they would recruit from a diffrent company say 4ths terminators or 19ths assault


I don't remember there being any indication of Abaddon JUST having the Catulan and Justaerin... In fact, when they're assaulting the "emperor's palace" on "terra", I'm pretty sure that the author remarks that at the head of the 1st company, the Justaerin could be seen leading the way, like some kind of black legion...

I always thought those two squads to be the pre-eminent veterans of the Legion, hence their right to wear inverted legion colours. If only two squads were all the Legion could muster in terms of veterans, then it really seems like a poor excuse for a First Company...

Edited by Weiss, 05 August 2008 - 07:01 AM.