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Legion Redundancy


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#26
b1soul

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Could we say that Nail-less War Hounds and SW with Russ would be the closest mirror legions?

#27
Lord_Caerolion

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Oh, definitely.


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#28
slitth

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This is a nature vs nurture debate. Because the influence of the gene-seed, training, command and individuals shapes a legion personality.

 

If all the legions was trained the same on Terra and followed the Ultramarines code of war, then you would have 18 legion that are or less the same.

And even now 17 legions have the same capabilities and flexibilities, it's only the World Eaters that have lost this because of the nails.

 

The rest is more or less dogma that comes from the legions home-world, commands and training.

Even Rogal Dorn has shown to understand the Alpha Legions way of warfare and his legion would be able to prosecute a war is such a manner.

He just do not like it and prefers the more "honourable" way of war. (Which is total war without mercy, executed by a superior force.)

 

Now are the redundancy in the legions? Yes, there was made 20 legion not just one.

And 2 of the legions are lost, so to choice of redundancy was a wise one.

Imagine that there was only made one primarch and one legion. Only to have to the way of one of the lost?

 

As for the each legion has a mirror theory. I do not think that would be a part of any "real" plan.

But from a storyteller's, philosopher or salesman standpoint it make things interesting as you can see both side of the coin.

From a realist standpoint it would make sense to make 20 different gene-seeds to make sure that get as meany stable gene-seed as possible.

Having 20 different leaders of the army would also make sense as you can use a survival of the fittest way of prosecute a crusade.

If one fails you have 19 other to take it place.


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#29
Sandlemad

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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.

 

Even on tactical preferences though, it doesn't feel like there's enough difference for someone planning a galactic conquest to give a damn. "20 legions, right, let's make four or five of them have a forte for shock assault or siege warfare" sounds general enough. At the outset, the Emperor was surely not thinking "and then due to a series of random variables and influences across the next two centuries, this legion will develop into an infantry-focused berzerker shock assault force, this legion will be a fast moving vanguard shock assault force, this legion will... and so on, just as planned."

It's too much detail, it's not something any would-be galactic conqueror would try for from the very beginning. A commander of an expeditionary fleet looking for reinforcement, sure, but not the emperor when he was plotting out his grand plan at the outset of the crusade (bar the possible trefoil or TS, as mentioned).

 

This is aside from the nature vs nurture debate, where it's pretty clear that a lot of what we think of as legions' fortes were down to flukes of history like the IW's treatment by imperial command or the spread of the butcher's nails throughout the WE. The Emperor could and did just roll with things and work with broken tools until they were no longer useful. He was trying to set up a universal empire and probably expected to lose a few legions along the way (only losing two isn't that bad, even if the EC, TS and Salamanders were nearly added to that list, and the NL and WE looked to be going that way) so there was no point in being too precious about any one legion's distinct specialty.

 

By the time of the heresy, the idea of mirror legions just doesn't reflect what the legions do. On the strategic level, the Space Wolves and Night Lords both had a talent for punitive operations (albeit coloured by the Sevatar quote that everyone knows). The Space Wolves and Alpha Legion both had a talent for for interplanetary pursuit operations. The Space Wolves and World Eaters/White Scars/Sons of Horus all had a knack for shock assault. Pick one thing to mirror and you're dwelling on one aspect above everything else and taking a reductive view.

 

The tactical preferences stuff, the legion's culture and reputation, how well they play with other, the personalities of its famous officers, that is all important but not in this galaxy-spanning role way we often speak of. It's the kind of thing you think of when you're an auxilia general engaged in a compliance campaign and start looking for astartes assistance; even if the SW or WE are the nearest and have the tactical preference your theatre needs... do you really want to deal with a fur-clad chieftain or a red-eyed berzerker in your war councils? Might be better to wait a little for a grim-faced SoH praetor. Same 'legion role' on the macro scale but at least he'll share his tactical data and work with your logistical corps.


Edited by Sandlemad, 13 February 2018 - 10:19 AM.

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#30
Leif Bearclaw

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Could we say that Nail-less War Hounds and SW with Russ would be the closest mirror legions?

 

Not really imo. This came up in a thread the other day, FW seem to have had something of a disconnect in the years between writing Betrayal and Inferno. In Inferno they really push the 'feral VI vs disciplined XII' angle, yet this isn't really borne out by the XII Legion fluff in Betrayal, where they made the War Hounds plenty feral and nasty too. It actually seems more like the two Legions were at their most similar before either Legion got their Primarch, as Russ seems to have brought a unity and precision to the VI that was previously absent, and the XII never got. Both Legions were brutal, internally fractious, made the heaviest use of 'Discipline Officers', were accused of hefty collateral damage and rarely seem to have taken prisoners. Compare and contrast a few excerpts from the Black Books:

 

 

every assault ended only in one of two ways: victorious slaughter or simple slaughter, either of which left the foe in no condition to resist further...many who fought alongside them found them also to be unpredictable, intemperate and dangerous to anything that stood in their path, combatant or otherwise...Outsiders noted that an unusually harsh code of discipline was enforced in the ranks by the Legion's officers and was indeed needed, as the [Legion Name] themselves could prove fractious, and bloodshed between brothers was far from uncommon.

 

 

They had an unarguable track record of success and had won numerous battle honours, but accusations and stories of unneeded collateral damage and casualties among human civilian populations where they had fought were widespread...said to be an internally fractious Legion, ruled more by the strength of its officers than obedience to legitimate authority, and violence and factionalism within the ranks was said to be far too common.

 Now, there's one phrase there that might give away which Legion it refers to, but overall, those sound like 2 pretty similar Legions to me, and I'm not sure I could tell you which was the 'feral, uncontrolled VI' and the 'honourable, disciplined XII' without looking it up.

 

Imo the the actual contender for 'most similar Legions' once we get to the Primarchs would actually be the EC and the Ultras (thus far at least, I don't really account for the I, V and IX until FW have had their go with them). Both highly regimented Legions, strict discipline and chain of command, high level of all around competence, relatively little specialisation and a character focus on constant improvement and excellence. The big differences are the arrogance vs relative humility of the Ulras, only one went in for the Empire building, and of course the size of the Legions.


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#31
Rolltonotdie

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Redundancy was probably also important in case an entire legion was wiped out.  We know the 2 unknown legions were purged but, of the top of my head there was also at least the Emperors Children, Thousand Sons and Salamanders who had almost been wiped out due to genetic instability for the first two and vague suicidal tendencies for the latter.  Even if we assume specialities as being inherently bred into the legions there's only the Thousand Sons that don't really have an analogue in another legion. So by having redundancies in specialities you're at least covered if the odd legion here and there is completely wiped out?

 

Then you have the Iron Warriors who were merrily grinding themselves away into oblivion, especially in the Hrud campaign in the Perturabo book.  But I wonder if that was a deliberate attempt to get rid of a legion which had a mirror legion that was inherently more suited to a post war Imperium. But that's just my paranoid theory


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#32
Gorgoff

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Could we say that Nail-less War Hounds and SW with Russ would be the closest mirror legions?

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#33
Huggtand

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I agree that there is a redundancy in all legions but only in the preferred strategic level. There is black ops legions, heavy assault legions, siege specialist legions etc. That´s not especially strange since they are broad warfare roles you need and as already has been said you don´t want to risk that your only specialist legion are wiped out. As been pointed out many times in this forum every legion could fulfill any battlefield role but they had certain preferred specializations.    
 
If you look deeper there is much more difference between the legions both in how they approach their strategic goals on a tactical level and of course the culture and organisation in different legions. So on a strategic level there are mirror legions but om the strategic and cultural level they are not the same.
 
To answer the OP question if WE and SW fulfill the same role? Yes, but so does every other legion on that level, since every astartes are exercises in focused ferocity. One good example is LW assault on Whisper mountain in Horus Rising. The humans are chocked of the cheer brutality and savagery of the fight. That is actually one thing that BL captures consistently through almost all books.
 
As for Nail-less War Hounds and SW with Russ would be the closest mirror legions, I don´t agree. The common denominator seems to be preferences for brutal close assault tactics and to be honest there are many legions that have that elements in them. 
 
If you go with the every Legion is created for a certain role narrative that both FW and BL pushes they are not the same either. WE seems to be a front line Legion with a preferred strategy of heavy infantry assault. SW was created with the trefoil legions and Inferno heavily hints that they are made with certain operations in mind, both in gene seed but also in mental conditioning, that other legions was not. The whole narrative of this reasoning is that every legion is built for a specific purpose so then there are no mirrors. 
 
So if one goes with a strategic level, there are many redundancies or mirrors on a macro level since every Legion could fulfill every battlefield roles. If one goes with every Legion is created for a certain role narrative there are no mirrors since every Legion is a special snowflake biggrin.png

Edited by Huggtand, 13 February 2018 - 02:08 PM.

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He was a wolf because of how he lived, forever echoing the vitality and honesty of the wildness at the heart of all life."

 

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#34
Marshal Rohr

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A Legions redundant counter part isn’t necessarily going to be that legions rival. For instance the Imperial fists are rivals of the Iron Warriors, but the mirror for the Iron Warriors is not the Imperial Fists. Also, it isn’t legions that have mirrors. It’s primarchs. Kurze and Corax, Etc

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#35
SkimaskMohawk

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The mirror for the imperial fists is the iron warriors. They were rivals because they did the same thing but the fists got glory and recognition.

A better example would be salamanders and death guard for mirrors but not rivals

#36
b1soul

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I swear I read in a BL work that the differenttactical dispositions were designed to complement each other. Cannot recall which work

#37
Marshal Rohr

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The mirror for the imperial fists is the iron warriors. They were rivals because they did the same thing but the fists got glory and recognition.

A better example would be salamanders and death guard for mirrors but not rivals

That’s not necessarily true. A rival doesn’t make them mirrors of each other. The Imperial Fists aren’t a ‘siege legion’ since such an archetype doesn’t exist in massive legions spread across the galaxy doing thousands of different missions. The Fists didn’t have the numbers the Iron Warriors did, and their new background very much stresses their style of war is tied to the naval power. The Iron Warriors are decidedly NOT a naval power.

This circles back to my point that the Primarchs have mirrors, the legions really cannot because they are so expansive. An Imperial Fists Skimmer Strike Detachment that’s never been assigned to a battalion that was deployed in some kind of siege will not be better at siege warfare than a Dark Angel assault company that has been consistently used as a spearheaded force against fortified enemy positions.

To double down, besieging an ork fortress and an elder fortress and a Rangda fortress are all going to be very different and take lifetimes and lifetimes of experience to learn that a legion isn’t going to be able to intuit just because that legion is frequently deployed in siege operations in a plurality of expeditionary fleets in that region of the galaxy.

Rivalries and Mirrors are fun little snippets of a legions identity. It’s cool to think about, but so often these become the sole facets of a legion people focus on. Army building, I get it, I like the rules to reflect archetypes because otherwise my blood angels wouldn’t play any differently than my Imperial Fists, but those are real world things we shouldn’t be shoehorning into the background just because they exist is game rules.

Edited by Marshal Rohr, 13 February 2018 - 05:31 PM.

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#38
Huggtand

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I agree with Marshal Rohr that the legions cannot be totally specialized in a too narrow role since that would limit their battlefield role to much. Where the legions can specialize somewhat is that they can have more or less of something. For example i think that WS have more skimmer detachments and less terminators than most legions.

 

That's the problems with the novels from BL since in them we often only see a small segment of the legion, often the part directly integrating with the Primarch. They also tend to just focus on the archetypical picture of each legions which leads to most people think that that is all the legion does.


"He made barbarism a controlled trait, something noble to be understood and mastered, not a state of primitive regression. Leman Russ was the dynamism of a life free from civilisation’s shackles. He was strength and purpose and heart, where all else was grey with the promise of inevitable stagnancy. He wasn’t a wolf because of how he fought and howled and bunched his men into packs. 

He was a wolf because of how he lived, forever echoing the vitality and honesty of the wildness at the heart of all life."

 

- Betrayer by Aaron Dembski-Bowden


#39
Jareddm

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I like the idea that there was genetic redundancy among the legions, but that in general these are very broad features that are easily manipulated by primarch homeworld culture and teachings.  That the Emperor did not intend for the Xth legion to be hyper mechanically-minded, but instead lessened their empathy and made them more goal-orientated, with stronger leaning towards "ends justify the means" mentality.  This same trait might've also been present in the Death Guard or the Dark Angels, but presented different because of upbringing and experience of both the legion and their primarch.

 

The only legions that I don't believe any such genetic redundancy exists is within the trefoil legions.  That they are unique in their makeup and disposition, either because the Emperor intended them to be more specialized than necessary, or perhaps simply because their genetic code was deemed more experimental than other legions.  For instance, perhaps the Emperor greatly increased selflessness for the Salamanders, but doing so ended up with the Astartes equivalent of suicide bombers, who are so selfless they don't take into account their own worth.  It took the teachings of Vulkan to free them of such a mindset.



#40
SkimaskMohawk

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Rohr I'm not saying legions are incapable of doing anything outside of their stereotype, but those stereotypes for sure exist for a reason.

Saying fists aren't a siege legion is...false. They for sure have a knack for defensive siege operations and conversely exploiting the vulnerabilities in other's constructions. Praetorian of Dorn has arachmus literally build a bastion under assault from orks amongst other castle building tendencies he remembers going through. Sure they also had a large fleet and were a naval power, but even in crimson fist the focus was more on how polux essentially built a fortress of ships...

#41
Marshal Rohr

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Rohr I'm not saying legions are incapable of doing anything outside of their stereotype, but those stereotypes for sure exist for a reason.

Saying fists aren't a siege legion is...false. They for sure have a knack for defensive siege operations and conversely exploiting the vulnerabilities in other's constructions. Praetorian of Dorn has arachmus literally build a bastion under assault from orks amongst other castle building tendencies he remembers going through. Sure they also had a large fleet and were a naval power, but even in crimson fist the focus was more on how polux essentially built a fortress of ships...

 

 

I'm trying to stress that we should separate narrative choices (the Fists being super-siegey) from practical, grounded representations of the Legion and warfare in 30K. In the story you mention, five breachers also brave an entire ork onslaught. Five? Even with power armor and ballistic shields, that wouldn't be possible because we know from other Black Library sources that even simple ballistic rounds will shatter power armor with a volume of fire they would certainly be experiencing. Again, 'siege legion' is an impossible concept. The 101st Airborne division only performed four or five (iirc) airborne operations during the entirety of WWII. Five days. Five instances. For the remaining twelve months they fought as any other light Infantry division. That should illustrate what I am trying to say. For every instance of the Imperial Fists being a 'siege legion', practically, there are thousands of instances of them not doing that. The 101st was absolutely an airborne outfit, but most of the time it didn't do that. It wouldn't make sense to say the 101st was the rival of the 1st Para from the UK because they both performed airborne operations. 


Edited by Marshal Rohr, 13 February 2018 - 07:04 PM.

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#42
SkimaskMohawk

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Yea but all of your statements have been absolutes of "X wasn't this" when they absolutely are according to the fluff. It's fine to not support the narrative of specializations/styles of warfare and the cconcept of mirror legions, but not when people are specifically talking about that in accordance to the fluff.

It's like in your example of the airborne division if they were actually rivals of the UK division (like the IW and IF are) and I came in saying they aren't rivals and mirrors of each other because it's an impossibility for an entire army division to be labelled as one thing when they only did it a few times.



Its absurd in the understood context.

#43
Marshal Rohr

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Yea but all of your statements have been absolutes of "X wasn't this" when they absolutely are according to the fluff. It's fine to not support the narrative of specializations/styles of warfare and the cconcept of mirror legions, but not when people are specifically talking about that in accordance to the fluff.

It's like in your example of the airborne division if they were actually rivals of the UK division (like the IW and IF are) and I came in saying they aren't rivals and mirrors of each other because it's an impossibility for an entire army division to be labelled as one thing when they only did it a few times.



Its absurd in the understood context.

 

 

Except the Black Books have consistently stressed my interpretation that rivals and mirrors are only a small facet of the identity of each legion, while Black Library has been more focused on it. So if your context is the Black Library series, sure - my point is absurd, in that context. In the context of the version of the Heresy Forge World has created - my interpretation is exactly in line with that. For instance, to date, the Imperial Fists have not be represented in a pitched siege battle during the Heresy, but they have been presented as a rear guard during Book 4, a naval boarding force in Book 3, an air mobile force in Book 6, and a heavy infantry armored column in Book 6, among so others I'd be happy to look up when I have the Black Books near me. Even the famous battles listed in the Background section for the Imperial Fists, two were boarding assaults, and one was a massive fleet based operation around Necromunda. 

 

It's important to understand my point is that the books describing the military training and strategic tendencies of the Legions. To go back to my 101st example, the Black Books are a multi-volume history of the war in europe during WWII. The Black Library series is Band of Brothers. In Band of Brothers, 20% of the series was about them performing an airborne assault (also, checked my figures - it was the 82nd that jumped five times, my bad). 20% was about Training/Non-Combat, and 6 episodes were about combat. That isn't representative of the sum total of operations the 101st Airborne Division participated in during WWII. In fact, the 101st spent more time in a real life siege (Bastogne), than they ever did performing an airborne operation. Would we argue that the 101st is then a 'Siege Division'? No, because such an organization doesnt actually exist.  

 

 

Disclaimer since I'm on the naughty list: Im not trying to dig in your :cuss. I'm just throwing out some points for a fun fluff discussion. 


Edited by Marshal Rohr, 13 February 2018 - 07:38 PM.

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#44
Corswain

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I still see a point of distinction in their focus. World Eaters as a Xenos purge force and the Wolves as hunters/pursuit specialists.

Redundancy in the Legions, to a certain extent, is inevitable really and it could be argued that everything after the first Legion was redundant. But that would be boring. :)

#45
slitth

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To give every legion a specific role is a bad choice as an enemy would be able to develop a counter.

If you focus to much on specialization, then you breed in the seed of defeat.

 

The primarchs on the other hand are individuals that therefore unique and will prefer to do things in a way feels most natural to them.

You would have to look on their personality profiles and their background if you want to know how they do things.

 

Perturabo seem more like a introvert that focus a mostly more on the assignment that the person.

Couple that with a culture there you build keep to protect your resources and focus more on siege warfare.

That will produce a siege esperte that will grind down an enemy with numbers and resources.

 

Dorn on the other hand is more of an extrovert, but like Perturabo will focus more on the assignment.

But where Perturabo will build a fort that based solely on its functional value, Dorn will build a monument if he has the option.

 

Now it would have be interesting to see Perturabo grow up on a world like Fenris where permanent structures are not really a option.


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#46
Indefragable

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Real world example time:

SOCOM.


Of course SEALS are the ONLY units that do water operations and ONLY the Green Berets can do foreign internal defense and the ONLY pilots are in Air Force units...

There is tons of cross over and especially when it comes to things like “kicking down doors” nearly any sub Command is fully capable of doing most if not all of the tasks required.

Now...that being said, like any job in human history, the more someone does a certain job, the more experienced they get at it and (usually) the more proficient they become. Therefore, the more some person or organization does something, generally speaking, the better they become.

Ergo

Hidden Content


All the Legions were capable of doing any job demanded of a Legion. Did some Legions end up doing one type of job more often than others? Clearly. Is it safe to say by doing a certain type of job more often than others they then became rather good at doing said job? I would think so. Is it also safe to guess that a commander would then leverage the asset at his command who tends to be good at a given job more often than not for similar jobs? I’ll let the reader answer that.

If you take the Primarchs and gene seed quirks and color palettes out of all the Legions and had 18 identical “vanilla” forces, over the course of the GC those forces would naturally start differentiating themselves simply how often each one did job x vs job y vs job z. Throw in those completely rational and noncompetive brothers at the helm of each and...well, naturally certain stereotypes start showing up.

There were absolutely redundancies built into the Legions—as their should be—but that did not prevent each Legion from naturally taking on unique traits.

Edited by Indefragable, 17 February 2018 - 03:43 PM.





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