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Legion Redundancy


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#1
b1soul

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Don't the WE minus the Nails (the Warhounds) and the SW plus Russ...fulfill essentially the same roles? Both are exercises in focused ferocity, no?

What's your take on the distinct or overlapping roles of these two Legions?

Or perhaps the WE were always intended to be blood-crazed berserkers and the nails were part of the Emp's plan? I doubt it though...

#2
Lord_Caerolion

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Only in the sense that the Death Guard, Iron Hands and Iron Warriors overlapped, in that they were all "workhorse Legions". It's impossible to tell what the original plan for Angron might have been, since he was fundamentally broken almost since he first landed on Nuceria. He could have been a Warrior-Poet, or a talented psyker. The only thing we know for certain is that the War Hounds were known for the brotherhood between warriors, and their controlled aggression. From what we know in Master of Mankind, the Nails definitely weren't planned, though.

 

I think though, going by Russ/the Wolves being the Executioners, Angron would have been planned for more of a generalised assault role, with Russ more of an "internal" role, and Angron being more used against the enemies of the Imperium.


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#3
Brad_hutcho

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One thing we can be sure of with Angron, is that he beat the living censored.gif out of Big E's lap dog ;-)


Edited by WarriorFish, 12 February 2018 - 09:10 AM.
Swear filter dodge corrected

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#4
Jarl Kjaran Coldheart

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One thing we can be sure of with Angron, is that he beat the living censored.gif out of Big E's lap dog ;-)

 

that horse has already been beaten so much its now glue

 

but here are the words of LG discussing the "beating"

http://www.bolterand...11#entry4599310


Edited by WarriorFish, 12 February 2018 - 09:12 AM.
Quote fixed

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#5
Brad_hutcho

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One thing we can be sure of with Angron, is that he beat the living censored.gif out of Big E's lap dog ;-)

 
that horse has already been beaten so much its now glue
 
but here are the words of LG discussing the "beating"
http://www.bolterand...11#entry4599310

I know, I know, it wasn't really a battle that anybody won lol. But as a World Eaters player, I've gotta take Angron's inherently flawed perspective on the "victory" ;-)


Edited by WarriorFish, 12 February 2018 - 09:12 AM.
Quote fixed


#6
DuskRaider

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I would say if you'd like to see what the War Hounds would have been with Nails-less Angron, just look how they were before him. I believe they would still be a vicious, assault oriented Legion but with much more focus and control. You see glimpses of it with Angron himself, where it seems the Nails are at bay momentarily and he shows himself to be quite astute in combat and generalship. I have a feeling he would have been similar to Russ, but perhaps with a bit of Dorn or Guilliman mixed in. Much more disciplined and militaristic. 


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#7
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There's a couple potential scenarios. It's been hinted that The Emperor may have known the Primarchs would be scattered.

If we assume he DIDN'T know:
Building in redundant traits that would lean toward certain roles makes sense in the event of casualties or accidents. There are also only so many general combat specialties that you could really try to genetically encode for, so why not double up on things like ferocious, good with fortifications, determined, etc?

If we assume he DID know:
Redundancies become even more important. It's been shown multiple times that a legion with its Primarch tends to become more specialized and shaped by the Primarch's personality than those from beforehand. The Emperor couldn't know who would be rediscovered first, so would need to hedge his bets so to speak. It could in some ways explain why most legions have a mirror legion, or multiple for multiple traits.
Thus it's entirely possible that had the Primarchs been discovered in a different order that The Lion could have been groomed to be Warmaster, Perturabo could have been the Emperor's Champion, Lorgar the Statesman may have organized the workings of a grieving Imperium, and Angron may have been the Emperor's executioner. But in each case their counterpart was discovered earlier, and their legion was able to solidify into the role which they did, leading their mirrors to take on an identity and role all their own.
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#8
Brad_hutcho

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I would say if you'd like to see what the War Hounds would have been with Nails-less Angron, just look how they were before him. I believe they would still be a vicious, assault oriented Legion but with much more focus and control. You see glimpses of it with Angron himself, where it seems the Nails are at bay momentarily and he shows himself to be quite astute in combat and generalship. I have a feeling he would have been similar to Russ, but perhaps with a bit of Dorn or Guilliman mixed in. Much more disciplined and militaristic.

 
I agree totally, for all his furious rage, Angron showed himself to be quite astute at times. Part of the reason why I love Betrayer so much in how it portrays him. I think the best example is when he's talking to Lorgar of the warp. Angron remains ignorant of its true power, but he is able to grasp that there is something important about it. And I think, even in his rage moments, he's almost the exemplification of militaristic, given his upbringing on Nuceria. Coupled with the War Hounds, had they not descended into their rage, I think they would have been the most militaristic of the legions.

There's a couple potential scenarios. It's been hinted that The Emperor may have known the Primarchs would be scattered.
If we assume he DIDN'T know:
Building in redundant traits that would lean toward certain roles makes sense in the event of casualties or accidents. There are also only so many general combat specialties that you could really try to genetically encode for, so why not double up on things like ferocious, good with fortifications, determined, etc?
If we assume he DID know:
Redundancies become even more important. It's been shown multiple times that a legion with its Primarch tends to become more specialized and shaped by the Primarch's personality than those from beforehand. The Emperor couldn't know who would be rediscovered first, so would need to hedge his bets so to speak. It could in some ways explain why most legions have a mirror legion, or multiple for multiple traits.
Thus it's entirely possible that had the Primarchs been discovered in a different order that The Lion could have been groomed to be Warmaster, Perturabo could have been the Emperor's Champion, Lorgar the Statesman may have organized the workings of a grieving Imperium, and Angron may have been the Emperor's executioner. But in each case their counterpart was discovered earlier, and their legion was able to solidify into the role which they did, leading their mirrors to take on an identity and role all their own.


^this is an awesome breakdown

#9
Soldier of Dorn

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Both exercises in focused ferocity, as you said, yes, I'd agree with that. But that's not their role. That's a tactical predisposition, and I feel like it's all too often that the two are confused when discussing the purpose of the Legions.

 

Honestly, beyond the Trefoil, I don't know that I wholly subscribe to the idea of each Legion being assigned a particular purpose. We know that the Wolves were treated as a final sanction, kept on a tight leash by the Imperial Court and unleashed at the Emperor's command. But no such thing is ascribed to the nascent War Hounds. Rather, they were front-line fighters of the Crusade, gaining a bloody reputation in violent service at the very speartip. These are two very different roles, fulfilled by similar means, fair enough, but they're not overlapping, not at all.

But that's just my initial take on the matter.


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#10
b1soul

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I think the War Hounds would probably work as a sanction as well

#11
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They already were at the very least once per Betrayal, but I suspect much more prior to being reunited with Angron.


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#12
Marshal Rohr

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My opinions on this are sure to be unpopular, but essentially I find it ridiculous to think the emperor planned for Raven Guard to be ninjas and Space Wolves to be Vikings or the Ultramarines to really organized. Those things, which forge World calls ‘observed strategic tendencies’ are only a fraction of the legions capability and would be learned over time - not from their inception. Even if forge World or black library came out and said Raven guard geneseed makes them ninjas, I would carry on with my own, more serious and less fantastic interpretation of the legion.
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#13
SkimaskMohawk

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I mean, their geneseed does make them ninjas; Mor deythan and wraith slipping are from corax.

That being said it's way easier to say "raven guard are ninjas, look they can infiltrate and go invisible" than show that they preferred asymetrical warfare as a strategy. The latter takes a really good author, while the former is way easier to implement; the alpha legion in Praetorian of Dorn is a great example of not being sneaky in combat situations compared to say Sharrowkyn
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#14
Marshal Rohr

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Yeah, see I don’t like that, so I don’t participate in that narrative. I don’t demand anyone participated in my narrative, but ninja ravens are just kind of Marvel.

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#15
Sandlemad

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I mean, their geneseed does make them ninjas; Mor deythan and wraith slipping are from corax.

That being said it's way easier to say "raven guard are ninjas, look they can infiltrate and go invisible" than show that they preferred asymetrical warfare as a strategy. The latter takes a really good author, while the former is way easier to implement; the alpha legion in Praetorian of Dorn is a great example of not being sneaky in combat situations compared to say Sharrowkyn

 

There's a strong tendency with 30k fans to oversimplify the idea of each legion having a purpose and overemphasise the genetic component. As you say, it's partially down to differences in BL writing skill but a lot of folks don't look beyond a level of detail that says "IF = the siege legion" or "WE = the assault legion". Makes them almost like Hogwarts houses: the brave house, the smart house, the loyal house and the ambitious house.

 

There absolutely is a lot of redundancy between almost all of the legions and, as Rohr noted, the 'observed strategic tendencies' of the legions are in-universe military historical descriptive notes of how the legions preferred to wage war by the time of the heresy, rather than simplistic prescriptive definitions of what 'roles' they were always/originally planned to carry out.

 

Look at the Iron Warriors. Their geneseed is referred to in The First Heretic as encouraging a high tolerance for pain. Having that high tolerance would be useful for siege experts, certainly, but it would be useful for lots of other styles of warfare as well, and the IVth legion showed no particular preference until after Perturabo's arrival. Their lack of political clout meant they became considered a 'workhorse legion' by the war council and were saddled with grubby jobs like siege work, eventually getting a talent for it.

That wasn't inherent or set in stone from their creation, it was a knock on effect of various different factors throughout a century or more (dunno what the dates are for Perutrabo) of campaigning. It varies by legion but the idea that this was all 'just as planned' by the emperor presumes some very specific and simple intentions. Same for the WE and SW.

 

The 'legion roles' are nebulous things. In-universe marines and mortals speculate about it and it sounds reasonable but they're still just taking their (limited, biased, speculative) best guess at what the Emperor was planning. These roles come from a lot more variables than folks give them credit for. There is all the overlap and redundancy we should expect from 20 galaxy-spanning military bodies. If you want a fortress cracked, you can't just wait for an IF/IW delegation to join up with your expeditionary fleet.

 

There's absolutely room for two or more legions (SW, WE, Sons of Horus, White Scars) with a preference/talent for broad-brush "shock assault" as the FW books note.

 

EDIT: I mean, hell, look at that FW black book remembrancer's term, "shock assault". All four of those legions approach that task in different ways with different approaches to wider strategy and logistics, very different cultures and relationships with central imperial bureaucratic power, but on a macro-scale, a 'legion role' scale, it's the same thing from different angles.

 

Or for an even sharper example, look at the legions described as having a talent for "high intensity warfare": the Iron Hands, Salamanders and Blood Angels. Same 'role', a lot of crossover and redundancy, but laying completely different emphases on use of armour/aircraft/drop assaults/strongpoints/auxilia support/infantry tactics. I'm not saying FW's terms aren't useful, but from a large scale military historical perspective, they highlight a huge amount of overlap and redundancy.


Edited by Sandlemad, 12 February 2018 - 04:53 PM.

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#16
carlisimo

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Don't the WE minus the Nails (the Warhounds) and the SW plus Russ...fulfill essentially the same roles? Both are exercises in focused ferocity, no?

What's your take on the distinct or overlapping roles of these two Legions?


I wouldn’t call the World Eaters’ ferocity “focused” at all. You can’t tell them to storm a fortification and leave certain groups of the enemy alive, but you can send them into situations that’ll give the Space Wolves pause.

For all the overlapping, there were always some differences.
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#17
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In the fluff about pre primarchs, the war hounds and the wolves were reversed, so it was far more focused.

#18
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I always believed most legions have a mirror. WE sans nails would be very much like SW with Russ indeed, and SW without Russ were like WE with nails.

To make historical parallels, I'd see it like Vikings Vs Spanish Roman legionnaires, both had ferocity as their staple but there were differences in style.

#19
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Khârn himself answers this question;

 

 

 

'Because we couldn't be trusted. The Emperor needed a weapon that would never obey its own desires before those of the Imperium. He needed a weapon that would never bite the hand that feeds. The World Eaters were not that weapon. We've all drawn blades purely for the sake of shedding blood, and we've all felt the exaltation of winning a war that never even needed to happen. We are not the tame, reliable pets that the Emperor wanted. The Wolves obey, when we would not. The Wolves can be trusted, when we never could. They have a discipline we lack, because their passions are not aflame with the Butcher's Nails buzzing in the back of their skulls. The Wolves will always come to heel when called. In that regard, it is a mystery why they name themselves wolves. They are tame, collared by the Emperor, obeying his every whim. But a wolf doesn't behave that way. Only a dog does. That is why we are the Eaters of Worlds, and the Warhounds no longer'.

 

They do similar things, with different motivations.

 

 


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#20
Lord_Caerolion

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To me, the only Legions specifically crafted for particular roles were the Trefoil, and the Thousand Sons. We know that the initial Legions were drawn from specific areas, encouraging certain mentalities of the recruits. It could be argued that this was an attempt to "breed" certain practices into the Legions, by promoting aggressiveness in the initial War Hound recruits, drawing the Night Lord founding recruits from the prison sinks, etc, which could hint at "roles" for each Legion, but from a different source, rather than being inherent in the geneseed.


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#21
Memento Of Prospero

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I always believed most legions have a mirror. WE sans nails would be very much like SW with Russ indeed, and SW without Russ were like WE with nails.

To make historical parallels, I'd see it like Vikings Vs Spanish Roman legionnaires, both had ferocity as their staple but there were differences in style.

 

If by ferocity means to you pillaging and slaving mostly unarmed and ill trained civilians and running away, then sure they are ferocious. Vikings in general lost pretty much every pitched battle they every participated in. At least Romans got a few wins under their belts I guess.

 

 

As for the topic, The whole concept of "roles" is a little absurd. When you have as many as 20 legions, they are bound to have different preferences and some may overlap based on their experience and the type of campaigns they face. You don't train a legion of 100,000 + to be really good at one thing or have a niche, it's counter productive.

 

The fluff has much evolved since 2nd edition and so should we. Gone are the days of "theses guys are the plumbers, these are the electricians and these are the engineers." All legions are contractors and get the job done. 


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#22
b1soul

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@ Sandlemad

Yes, there will be plenty of redundancy among power armoured legionaries with bolters

...but I'm referring to redundancy between primary strengths/tactical preferences.

I don't believe anyone is silly enough to think legions should be 0% redundant.

It's pretty clear they're largely redundant but are distinguished by their tactical dispositions and fortes.

#23
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Every Legion has a mirror Legion.
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#24
Lord_Caerolion

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Depends how you define the mirror though. Are the Night Lords the mirror of the Raven Guard, because they both like being sneaky? If so, they're also a mirror of the Alpha Legion, so perhaps it's because they both love jump packs, at which point they also mirror the Blood Angels. Or are they another mirror of the Space Wolves, because they're both used as "policing" Legions?

You can link the Legions together in so many different ways that it's almost impossible to narrow it down to one mirror for each Legion.


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#25
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EVERY. LEGION. HAS. A. MIRROR. LEGION.

 

Seriously though, I do think there were purposeful redundancies in case any of them went the way of the ole Lost Legions. It'd be a real bummer if your Siege Specialist Legion suddenly caught a case of the "We're all dead" and you had no backup. I'm not saying the other Legions sucked at siege tactics, but the IVth and VIIth had a certain... je ne sais quoi... about them. 


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