If you thumb through the Salamanders section of The Horus Heresy Book 2: Massacre, you'll see a type of cuneiform in the top half of unit number diamonds. Though these markings only appear in Heresy Era use, there's nothing saying they won't prove of use for Salamanders of other eras.
A good example is on the knee of this breacher legionary.
I've tried to decipher them in the past, but just when I thought I had the pattern down, I'd find a unit for which it didn't work. For example, most correspond to the line company listed for the marine in question, but in one case - Kobal Ru'than of 3rd Line Company - the cuneiform number does not match. A couple days ago, I realized the reason: there are multiple ways of representing certain numbers in the system - specifically 5s and 100s - and the cuneiform can appear in multiple contexts - usually as a line company marking, but also relating to personal honours. Once I understood that, the rest fell into place.
In the cuneiform, there are wedges that point in one of five directions: the four cardinal directions (left, right, up down) and a diagonal pointing up-right. Each direction corresponds to a place value in the line company number.
Left (with Up) Fives**
Down High Tens**
*Direction the wedge is pointing
**These function similar to a five-count
tally mark - four vertical slashes with a
fifth diagonal crossing them out -
except that the pattern is to three up
wedges overlapped by two left wedges.
Numbers are built up from clusters of wedges, thus the number 40 would be represented by four right pointing wedges. Ones value wedges appear to the right, while tens and hundreds value wedges appear to the left. Tens and High Tens value wedges will overlap, while diagonal-hundreds will appear above the tens value wedges.
A rather blurry example, but it
shows the diagonal hundreds mark.
The number 7 would be represented by a cluster seven wedges, either all pointing up, or two pointing up with three up wedges overlapped by two left wedges. In the case of single digit number five to nine, the wedges representing the non-five portion appear left of the wedges making up the five.
Here, the number 7 is represented
by two up wedges left of two left
wedges overlapping three ups
(making the whole 2+5).
When used for a current line company the unit is attached to, the symbol is a white outline diamond, the bottom half of which is white, with the Line Company number in a sans-serif (looks to be Impact font at a glance) in the bottom half and Salamanders Cuneiform number in the top half.
Line company usage. Note that in some instances (like
the marking on the left), ones digits greater than 5 do
not always use the left pointing wedges.
When appearing in honourific form, the honours are displayed on a black diamond. In the bottom half of the diamond are the honour glyphs earned (the geometric diamond symbols seen most clearly on the Firedrakes model right shoulder). In the top half, the line company to which the marine was attached when those honours were attained appear in cuneiform. Thus Kobal Ru'than, a Terminator of the 3rd Line Company, attained honours - most likely those that earned him a spot in the 3rd - while attached to the 62nd Line Company.
Kobal Ru'than's honours, demonstrating
honours gained while part of the
62nd Line Company.
And there you have it. Salamanders cuneiform numbers, ready for use on your Fire Born units. And yes, being the Carlson that I am, expect these markings to have a decal sheet in the near future.
Edited by Carlson793, 16 June 2015 - 12:06 PM.