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Why aren't the Primarch's weapons used in the 41st Mill?

Primarch Weapons

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#26
Volt

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I don't think many marines are big enough to wield them. Khârn can wield Gorechild because it's relatively small compared to other Primarch weapons like the Lion's sword or Rus' axe, but things like Manus' hammer,  Dorn's eviscerator, and what-have-you should just be too damn big for the typical marine to wield. Greatswords after all are typically as large as their wielder. Primarchs are around 12 feet tall on average, give or take. Thus a sword used by them would be at least eleven feet long. A marine is only 7'6" on average. 

 

H0oi37W.jpg

 

Any two handed weapon made for a Primarch is going to look incredibly silly next to a marine. Just look at the Emperor's Sword. 

 

It's the same even with a short sword. What's a mere gladius for a Primarch is a lengthy arming sword/longsword for a marine. A small axe like Gorechild is a gigantic one handed chainaxe the size of most full power axes. And so on. This also isn't to say that Marines couldn't use them of course. They could absolutely lift and swing them as they are ludicrously strong in every regard, but there's a point where a weapon is simply too large to be useful in a fight.


Edited by Volt, 01 November 2017 - 04:19 AM.

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#27
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Not to derail this but... I thought that Marines came up to about chest/nipple height to a primarch. So only about a 25% increase of a SM.

TBH I though it was a human was 6' a SM was 25% taller so about 7.5 feet. A primarch was 25% more than a SM so about 9.5-10'.

So a 7.5 foot SM wielding a 8-8.5' sword, while unwieldy wouldn't be impossible.
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#28
TheRealMcCagh

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Cypher has the Lion's Sword on his back, that should be a decent comparison in size. It looks like it would be pretty unwieldy for sure, but not comically oversized 



#29
Urriak Urruk

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900px-Cypher_new_model.jpg

 

He could conceivably use it two-handedly, but that hilt just looks cumbersome. I do think if he gave it to a Primaris in Gravis it may be more manageable (but that's not gonna happen).

 

40k-8th-scale.png


Edited by Urriak Urruk, 01 November 2017 - 02:35 PM.


#30
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Not to derail this but... I thought that Marines came up to about chest/nipple height to a primarch. So only about a 25% increase of a SM.

TBH I though it was a human was 6' a SM was 25% taller so about 7.5 feet. A primarch was 25% more than a SM so about 9.5-10'.

So a 7.5 foot SM wielding a 8-8.5' sword, while unwieldy wouldn't be impossible.

Not at all. The average Space Marine going by an in-universe statement from the Regimental Standard website is that a guardsman's shoulder comes up to a Space Marine elbow. Assuming the Guardsmen is as tall as the average British man this makes marines about 7'6" on average. The Black Library meanwhile states Primarchs like the Lion to be over 3 meters in height, putting some of them around the ten foot mark, some artwork such as on Unremembered Empire puts them at around 11 feet, and then there's Magnus who annihilates our nicely calculated median with his towering height of 18 feet, or whatever it was in that novel. Of course there are very small Primarchs as well, Alpharius and Omegon are probably only around nine feet tall (putting them curiously around the same height as a Primaris...).

 

Cypher has the Lion's Sword on his back, that should be a decent comparison in size. It looks like it would be pretty unwieldy for sure, but not comically oversized 

Going by the model the Lion's Sword is far too large for Cypher to use properly. Zweihander/Spadone/Montante should only be about as long as their user is tall. Any bigger and they're going to be a bit tricky to swing around. Weight isn't an issue, but at that size it's more of a polearm than a sword.


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#31
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Some of the issue is the amount of stuff 'n junk the Heresy novels have created. It's not practical to keep up with it all. I actually find the amount of it that turns up the in novels annoying: it's a cheap way to create character ("so he has another sword/gun/glaive/powerfist/this/that? How exciting!"). I'd rather they spent time making the Primarchs and space marines better characters than populating the galaxy with collector's items.

Edited by jlmb_123, 01 November 2017 - 08:16 PM.


#32
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Not to derail this but... I thought that Marines came up to about chest/nipple height to a primarch. So only about a 25% increase of a SM.
TBH I though it was a human was 6' a SM was 25% taller so about 7.5 feet. A primarch was 25% more than a SM so about 9.5-10'.
So a 7.5 foot SM wielding a 8-8.5' sword, while unwieldy wouldn't be impossible.

Not at all. The average Space Marine going by an in-universe statement from the Regimental Standard website is that a guardsman's shoulder comes up to a Space Marine elbow. Assuming the Guardsmen is as tall as the average British man this makes marines about 7'6" on average. The Black Library meanwhile states Primarchs like the Lion to be over 3 meters in height, putting some of them around the ten foot mark, some artwork such as on Unremembered Empire puts them at around 11 feet, and then there's Magnus who annihilates our nicely calculated median with his towering height of 18 feet, or whatever it was in that novel. Of course there are very small Primarchs as well, Alpharius and Omegon are probably only around nine feet tall (putting them curiously around the same height as a Primaris...).

...but everything said just is the same as I just said. 6' - 7.5' - 10'. The 11' may be possible with full battle gear which is what we see in "Unremembered Empire", but SM also reach 8' in battle gear not sure about humans in power armor.

As for Magnus if we are going by artwork then we know Magnus isn't 18' because book 44 "Crimson King" we can see his sons only come up to nipple height. Making him at most 11' putting the theory that most primarch are around 10' (since Magnus was the tallest). Again in "The Primarch" he only appears to be a head taller putting him at roughly 11'. We also know Magnus uses his magic to make illusions of himself to appear larger, so that might be where we get the 18' idea.
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#33
TheRealMcCagh

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In The Reflection Crack'd Julius Kaesoron notes that he only comes up to Fulgrim's chest/shoulder while wearing full Terminator plate and Fulgrim is just wearing a robe. And in Betrayer Angron is big enough to grab Argel Tal around the chest with one hand and throw him



#34
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Then Abaddon must be crazy huge for an Astartes. In his Cataphracti, he's pretty much of a size with Horus

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Not to derail this but... I thought that Marines came up to about chest/nipple height to a primarch. So only about a 25% increase of a SM.

TBH I though it was a human was 6' a SM was 25% taller so about 7.5 feet. A primarch was 25% more than a SM so about 9.5-10'.

So a 7.5 foot SM wielding a 8-8.5' sword, while unwieldy wouldn't be impossible.

 

 

When I was at GW HQ a few years ago, standing in front of both their life sized drawing as well as life sized staue of Marines, both of them were 7ft. The Drawing had nice indicators at one foot intervals..

 

As for using an 8-8.5ft sword when being 7 feet tall, it's not that bad actually, look at most historical Long Swords (two handed swords, not arming swords or fantasy long swords) and the swordsmen that used them.


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#36
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I think it's an issue with circular allegory interpretation.

It starts off with some random metaphorical fluff statement that implies the primarchs were giants among men.

Next, you get some artist who somehow misses the cultural cue, or decides to do it up like religious art and just depict the metaphor. This outsized depiction after a few iterations becomes customary. After a while later artists stop questioning it, and the original work that makes the metaphor clear gets buried under the cruft of later additions.

Eventually, someone manages to write a really popular version of the story. Here they either get lazy and don't dig up the original source, or they blatantly decide to discard the original writings to embrace absurdity. This gets translated into a model and the origin is finally lost to popular conception.

Nay, the primarchs and the Emperor were man sized, at least back in the early 90's, but they had charisma and stage presence that made them seem larger than life in the memories of their followers.
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#37
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Not to derail this but... I thought that Marines came up to about chest/nipple height to a primarch. So only about a 25% increase of a SM.
TBH I though it was a human was 6' a SM was 25% taller so about 7.5 feet. A primarch was 25% more than a SM so about 9.5-10'.
So a 7.5 foot SM wielding a 8-8.5' sword, while unwieldy wouldn't be impossible.

Not at all. The average Space Marine going by an in-universe statement from the Regimental Standard website is that a guardsman's shoulder comes up to a Space Marine elbow. Assuming the Guardsmen is as tall as the average British man this makes marines about 7'6" on average. The Black Library meanwhile states Primarchs like the Lion to be over 3 meters in height, putting some of them around the ten foot mark, some artwork such as on Unremembered Empire puts them at around 11 feet, and then there's Magnus who annihilates our nicely calculated median with his towering height of 18 feet, or whatever it was in that novel. Of course there are very small Primarchs as well, Alpharius and Omegon are probably only around nine feet tall (putting them curiously around the same height as a Primaris...).

...but everything said just is the same as I just said. 6' - 7.5' - 10'. The 11' may be possible with full battle gear which is what we see in "Unremembered Empire", but SM also reach 8' in battle gear not sure about humans in power armor.

As for Magnus if we are going by artwork then we know Magnus isn't 18' because book 44 "Crimson King" we can see his sons only come up to nipple height. Making him at most 11' putting the theory that most primarch are around 10' (since Magnus was the tallest). Again in "The Primarch" he only appears to be a head taller putting him at roughly 11'. We also know Magnus uses his magic to make illusions of himself to appear larger, so that might be where we get the 18' idea.

 

It's not in battle armor they get bigger. Armor won't add to height except maybe a couple inches, and that's pushing it. There's no solid explanation even as to why Terminator Armor somehow makes you bigger, as the original art just had it as a guy hunched over in an ancient reactor maintenance suit built for normal men and not Astartes. Now you have to dislocate a marine's arms and boost his height to make him fit in it.

 

But on heights, marine average will be around 7'6" in armor, and the primarch is around 11'6" on average. He simply isn't going to be swinging Dorn's eviscerator about. Now without it being incredibly awkward and handling more akin to a glaive. While there are swords in real life larger than the men that used them, their use in war is highly suspect. 

 

 

 

Not to derail this but... I thought that Marines came up to about chest/nipple height to a primarch. So only about a 25% increase of a SM.

TBH I though it was a human was 6' a SM was 25% taller so about 7.5 feet. A primarch was 25% more than a SM so about 9.5-10'.

So a 7.5 foot SM wielding a 8-8.5' sword, while unwieldy wouldn't be impossible.

 

 

When I was at GW HQ a few years ago, standing in front of both their life sized drawing as well as life sized staue of Marines, both of them were 7ft. The Drawing had nice indicators at one foot intervals..

 

As for using an 8-8.5ft sword when being 7 feet tall, it's not that bad actually, look at most historical Long Swords (two handed swords, not arming swords or fantasy long swords) and the swordsmen that used them.

 

Longswords are 4'3" long at most. The largest great swords such as Zweihanders were around seven feet long, but those weren't used in battle/or were used by actual giants.


Edited by Volt, 01 November 2017 - 10:49 PM.

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#38
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The only reason a Zweihander wasn't longer is because a Landsknecht didn't have superhuman strength.  Pretty sure a Space Marine could swing a sword that's longer than he is tall.


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#39
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Zweihanders and claymores also have about a foot of the blade ahead of the crossguard covered in leather so the wielder can grip it there when fighting in close quarters. Giant overhand swings with a massive sword aren't practical on a battlefield. You'd get stabbed before the sword came down. 


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#41
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Assuming you're fighting another genetically-enhanced super-soldier or the equivalent.  Again, you're comparing how weapons are used by normal mortals to how Astartes can fight.  Not the same thing by a stretch,

 

Closer than 7 feet or so, a Marine could do plenty of damage with a fist or a combat knife.


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#42
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But can he do so effectively?


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#43
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From what I remember historically, large two handed swords were a late addition to the battlefield and used in formation against pike formations. They used sweeps and motions that kept the blade moving as momentum is a greatswords friend, and were used to bat aside the pikeheads to close in. Probably following up with a shorter sword for in close work as a greatsword is hard work from a practical stand point.

Your biggest enemy is the actual length of the sword itself. Given space you can do a lot of damage to masses of lighter armoured troops, but that's leaving you exposed. And dueling is compromised by the ground becoming your enemy. Drop the point too low and you hit the ground, at best your momentum is lost or redirected, at worst it's embedded in the ground leaving you open. It doesn't matter if you're a super strength marine or not, it's a complication you don't need just to use a massive pointy stick when a smaller pointy stick will do just nicely.

 

I'm not saying it's impossible, there are examples of greatsword duels and re-enactment, I'm just saying there is better options for the battlefield.

 

However more importantly, I'm ignoring the RULE OF COOL! If a space marine wants to use a overly massive pointy stick, then he can jolly well use a overly massive pointy stick! biggrin.png


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#44
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I saw these videos about Greatsword (Montante) technique (Used them for Inspiration for my Grey Talons fighting style). There is a couple more for those interested. They have techniques for narrow streets, if you are surrounded, galley fights etc. In the hands of a skilled warrior, it would make a dent. Considering these are from a Portuguese General in the 17th century, and only the fidalgos ( nobles) would use Greatswords in Portugal as a general rule, it probably wasn't common sight.

https://youtu.be/nYNy_drriXs

Now if you have a Super Human Warrior with a Greatsword, well make the math. I would assume that Marine could use a Primarchs weapon easily. Don't think the weight would be absurd.
Especially when you have Humans using Boltguns.

Edited by Sete, 02 November 2017 - 04:10 PM.


#45
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The only reason a Zweihander wasn't longer is because a Landsknecht didn't have superhuman strength.  Pretty sure a Space Marine could swing a sword that's longer than he is tall.

Zweihanders aren't heavy. You could swing around an eight foot one perfectly fine, the problem is that the sheer size makes rotating the blade vertically a pain in the arse.


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#46
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... in great part because of human musculature and strength.  It's the same reason a body builder can do flys and curls with weight that a normal person could barely lift with one hand - or why a child with a normal-sized weapon can't do the same things an adult can.  It's why most of us can't do a caber toss but some mad Scotsman can lug it around fairly easily.

 

Also, one cannot ignore the fact that, at its simplest, a sword is basically just a lever - it amplifies the user's strength, in addition to reducing the surface area to which the energy is applied.  That's why a straight swing from such a weapon is so effective.  But I really think using human weaponry and capability as a comparison is like apples and oranges.  Marines aren't just taller, stronger humans.  They have a physique that no human could ever develop naturally so it's not unreasonable to expect that they could do things with a weapon that we could not.


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#47
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... in great part because of human musculature and strength.  It's the same reason a body builder can do flys and curls with weight that a normal person could barely lift with one hand - or why a child with a normal-sized weapon can't do the same things an adult can.  It's why most of us can't do a caber toss but some mad Scotsman can lug it around fairly easily.

 

Also, one cannot ignore the fact that, at its simplest, a sword is basically just a lever - it amplifies the user's strength, in addition to reducing the surface area to which the energy is applied.  That's why a straight swing from such a weapon is so effective.  But I really think using human weaponry and capability as a comparison is like apples and oranges.  Marines aren't just taller, stronger humans.  They have a physique that no human could ever develop naturally so it's not unreasonable to expect that they could do things with a weapon that we could not.

Well on humans and greatswords, zweihander, montante, spandone, etc are only around 7-8 pounds in weight. They aren't heavy at all and even a skinny teenager can swing them about with ease. 

 

But on Space Marines, while their enhanced strength allows them to swing things like Power Fists, Thunder Hammers, and other obscenely large weapons in warhammer with zero encumbrance, there is still a point where a sword is too large to use for them. Something bigger than eight feet in length is going to seriously hamper the marine's ability to cut vertically and cycle the sword, and could even risk him lobbing off his own foot.


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You mention a power fist and then talk about issues with an oversized sword? :D :D :D

Let's be honest - oversized weapons are the standard for this setting.  Ridiculously big boltguns, power fists the size of their torso, crew-served weapons being fired from the hip...

I'm pretty sure a Marine is good enough to keep from cutting off his own foot.  We're talking soldiers literally bred for war, not some SCA reenactor.


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#49
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You mention a power fist and then talk about issues with an oversized sword? biggrin.pngbiggrin.pngbiggrin.png

Let's be honest - oversized weapons are the standard for this setting.  Ridiculously big boltguns, power fists the size of their torso, crew-served weapons being fired from the hip...

I'm pretty sure a Marine is good enough to keep from cutting off his own foot.  We're talking soldiers literally bred for war, not some SCA reenactor.

Oversized in mass. Power fists are cunky but ultimately not realistically cumbersome to wield as it's just a bulbous boxing glove that can be used to grapple or punch. A thunder hammer is just an awfully big version of a pole-hammer like a Bec de Corbin. Most 40k power swords are incredibly massive and chunky compared to the real deal. But if you try to draw an upwards cut with a sword made for a primarch, you're at risk of severing your rear facing foot. A sword longer than your body is simply more of a danger to yourself than the enemy.


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#50
Urriak Urruk

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You mention a power fist and then talk about issues with an oversized sword? biggrin.pngbiggrin.pngbiggrin.png

Let's be honest - oversized weapons are the standard for this setting.  Ridiculously big boltguns, power fists the size of their torso, crew-served weapons being fired from the hip...

I'm pretty sure a Marine is good enough to keep from cutting off his own foot.  We're talking soldiers literally bred for war, not some SCA reenactor.

Oversized in mass. Power fists are cunky but ultimately not realistically cumbersome to wield as it's just a bulbous boxing glove that can be used to grapple or punch. A thunder hammer is just an awfully big version of a pole-hammer like a Bec de Corbin. Most 40k power swords are incredibly massive and chunky compared to the real deal. But if you try to draw an upwards cut with a sword made for a primarch, you're at risk of severing your rear facing foot. A sword longer than your body is simply more of a danger to yourself than the enemy.

 

 

Tbh looking at the Cypher image, I can definitely see him handling it as long as the crossguard is removed (that would be too cumbersome). The overall length doesn't seem impossible to manage, especially when your handling the blade like this;

 

gwendoline-christie-brienne-tarth.jpg

 

It would be longer, but you also wouldn't need to make long swings, just short ones and stabs.


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