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How much of a legion is the black legion?


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#1
Laughingman

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Got a question for you lore buffs, how much of a "legion" is the black legion? Specifically in terms of their organization and tactics? Did they retain any of the strategic depth or specialized units of the old space marine legions? 



#2
Daemon Prince Marbas

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They are highly disciplined and retain the Cthonian pride of the original Sons of Horus but organization varies per Warband. Chaos corrupted Warbands have more informal rankings while less corrupted renegades and Legionaries stand by loyalist military decorum. Each warband's tactics will vary depending on what legion or renegade chapter they hail from. Specialized units are specific to each Warband as well. These wide differences between Warbands in terms of tactica and operation are preferable for Abaddon as it allows to have a highly flexible, proud, and independent force with each Warband being wielded as a tool by him depending on the operations.
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#3
Qkhitai

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Some of the original Eye of Terror fluff still mentions them using companies and such, as opposed to warbands, although the canonicity of this is, regrettably, questionable these days, given recent retcons.



#4
Laughingman

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I was wondering as ADB Black Legion included references to Super Heavy detachments, Volkite support squads, etc...


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#5
Sonoftherubric21

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Some of the original Eye of Terror fluff still mentions them using companies and such, as opposed to warbands, although the canonicity of this is, regrettably, questionable these days, given recent retcons.

 

I always considered that terminology to be interchangeable. I know that one is a military organization whereas the other is more "informal" but I think both are roughly equivocal at least from our perspective. 

Because in the grand scheme of things various legions have VERY different company sizes and organizations. 

 

"Grand companies" from iron warriors were upwards of 5-10k Legionaries including supporting elements, yet for thousand sons a company was "large" if it was 1000-2000. So those organizational styles an sizes vary tremendously in-universe. 


Edited by Sonoftherubric21, 27 December 2018 - 03:36 AM.

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#6
Kinstryfe

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My understanding is that Black Legion is kind of an overarching organizational title. Almost like an organization made up of thousands of other smaller organizations in addition to what is at its core, so I imagine the answer spans the entire bredth. Almost like in a movie where the corrupt mayor takes over and has the police force working for him, but also gets the local gangs working for him so he controls everything. I imagine it's a lot like that, where there are many thousands of Astartes still keeping up the military traditions, but also many many warbands nominally swearing fealty to the Legion under the agreement that they don't mess with other Legion troops and answer when called. I think numbers are also supposed to be huge in terms of the strength they can bring to bear, with millions under their fealty, so within it there's gotta be almost any form of control you can find, all the way from Astartes military grading down to Thrag biggest so Thrag in charge!
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#7
Trevak Dal

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I think it's a highly coordinated gang of like-minded killers.

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#8
ChazSexington

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I would say 0%.

 

They don't have a Primarch, and their gene-seed is a muddled, mongrel mixture. While a lot of them were of the Sons of Horus Legion, the Black Legion takes from anyone. They are as much a Legion as the Red Corsairs.

 

However,

 

Do they, roughly, have the power of a Legion of old.


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#9
AHorriblePerson

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The Black Legion can still be called, well, a legion... the thing is that Abaddon's vision of the concept is different. They still seem to have an overarching MO, which includes speatip strikes led by chosen and chaos terminators, with countless cultists and space marines filling the holes their vanguard tears into the enemies' lines. That's a remnant of the old Sons of Horus legion, which Abaddon and a large part of the Black Legion originate from of course.

Organisationally, they're like the majority of the traitor legions, consisting of warbands of different sizes. As Marbas said, these warbands may have different specialisations from what is generally deemed the legion's strategy, but that's not a circumstance exclusive to the Black Legion.

Abaddon's legion is also numerically superior to all others, and one of the - if not the - most influential and powerful of them all.

All that being said, it's hard to say if they're as powerful as a legion of old. I'd say yes, but that can easily be called into question. The answer probably varies from warband to warband.


Edited by AHorriblePerson, 27 December 2018 - 01:16 PM.

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#10
Marshal Rohr

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The most conservative way to read Black Legion's estimate is at least 200,000 Legionaries, which puts it at the 3rd largest Legion size if they were a pre-heresy Legion. The Black Fleet easily exceeds the largest fleet (Imperial Fists) with hundreds of capital ships and thousands of smaller vessels. While the legion itself is organized into warbands, and suffers infighting betrayal, and warp related attrition, it is still clearly the most organized and loyal fighting force of the Chaos legion with a strong esprit d'corps. So while it wouldn't really work to say the Black Legion is made of chapter and companies of 250 legionaries, or something so specific, there is plenty of room for warbands and detachments to fill tactical roles and organizational elements that perform the same function as a competent army. Obilterator Cults might serve the same function as a heavy weapons company in an infantry regiment as we understand it. Rhino mounted infantry supporting strike tanks fill the roles of cavalry battalions and so on.


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#11
Trevak Dal

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I would say 0%.

They don't have a Primarch, and their gene-seed is a muddled, mongrel mixture. While a lot of them were of the Sons of Horus Legion, the Black Legion takes from anyone. They are as much a Legion as the Red Corsairs.

However,

Do they, roughly, have the power of a Legion of old.


I'd argue that the mixed nature of not only their genetic stock but also social and religious beliefs would lead to the BEST combined arms force in the Galaxy. With Big A herding cats that are the various Warbands' warleaders about, the opportunity for say, Former Deathguard heavy assault backed by Ksons sorcerery and teleportation, and overwhelming firepower from former Iron Warrior (long range) and EC (close quarters perfection tactics), former alpha legion and Night Lord team ups that are like the terrorist version of the Avengers.

And if it all goes to :cuss, they send in their Khornates and Waaaagh it up.
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#12
ChazSexington

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I would say 0%.

They don't have a Primarch, and their gene-seed is a muddled, mongrel mixture. While a lot of them were of the Sons of Horus Legion, the Black Legion takes from anyone. They are as much a Legion as the Red Corsairs.

However,

Do they, roughly, have the power of a Legion of old.


I'd argue that the mixed nature of not only their genetic stock but also social and religious beliefs would lead to the BEST combined arms force in the Galaxy. With Big A herding cats that are the various Warbands' warleaders about, the opportunity for say, Former Deathguard heavy assault backed by Ksons sorcerery and teleportation, and overwhelming firepower from former Iron Warrior (long range) and EC (close quarters perfection tactics), former alpha legion and Night Lord team ups that are like the terrorist version of the Avengers.

And if it all goes to censored.gif, they send in their Khornates and Waaaagh it up.

 

 

Sure, but that doesn't make them a Legion

The Black Legion is also fraught with infighting, assassinations, poor logistics, communications, and supply, and if the rules are to be believed, lacking in the brotherhood the Loyalists have. Forcing the followers of Nurgle to fight alongside the worshippers of the Changer of Ways is difficult, and Abaddon babysitting them seems to be a requirement. While they do have Abaddon leading them, he does not have the brilliance of a Primarch, and the Traitor Primarchs are seemingly lost to the Great Game to varying degrees.

 

And you could say mostly all of those things about the Red Corsairs as well. 
 

I don't really disagree, but it's a bit too Utopian a view of the politics of the Eye for me yes.gif


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#13
Lord_Caerolion

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I would say 0%.

They don't have a Primarch, and their gene-seed is a muddled, mongrel mixture. While a lot of them were of the Sons of Horus Legion, the Black Legion takes from anyone. They are as much a Legion as the Red Corsairs.

However,

Do they, roughly, have the power of a Legion of old.


I'd argue that the mixed nature of not only their genetic stock but also social and religious beliefs would lead to the BEST combined arms force in the Galaxy. With Big A herding cats that are the various Warbands' warleaders about, the opportunity for say, Former Deathguard heavy assault backed by Ksons sorcerery and teleportation, and overwhelming firepower from former Iron Warrior (long range) and EC (close quarters perfection tactics), former alpha legion and Night Lord team ups that are like the terrorist version of the Avengers.

And if it all goes to censored.gif, they send in their Khornates and Waaaagh it up.

 

 

Sure, but that doesn't make them a Legion

The Black Legion is also fraught with infighting, assassinations, poor logistics, communications, and supply, and if the rules are to be believed, lacking in the brotherhood the Loyalists have. Forcing the followers of Nurgle to fight alongside the worshippers of the Changer of Ways is difficult, and Abaddon babysitting them seems to be a requirement. While they do have Abaddon leading them, he does not have the brilliance of a Primarch, and the Traitor Primarchs are seemingly lost to the Great Game to varying degrees.

 

And you could say mostly all of those things about the Red Corsairs as well. 
 

I don't really disagree, but it's a bit too Utopian a view of the politics of the Eye for me yes.gif

 

 

You could say all those things about all the Chaos Legions. They all have infighting, assassinations, poor logistics, communication and supply, and lack the brotherhood of the Loyalists. That's part of being Chaos Marines.


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#14
Daemon Prince Marbas

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Traitor Legions and Renegade Chapters do have brotherhood, but it's earned through strength, ruthlessness, intellect, victories, and charisma. Unlike Imperial Space Marine Chapters, you aren't a brother just because you were both initiated into it, for Chaos brotherhood is a process.

#15
Raven1

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Here i think you can honestly pull from real life as a lesson. Effective fighting forces tend to have multiple things in common regardless of nomenclature. Organization, discipline, tactics, the ability to communicate, supply, funding, equipment, etc with this the ability to differentiate yours from thiers in regards to forces on the battlefield.

No matter if you are Heretic Astartes or Adeptus Astartes there are certain universals you have when it comes to war.

So the Black Legion's organization may be very different from the Imperium you will still see discipline, traditions, uniforms, tactics and a relatively orderly breakdown in how leadership and warbands are organized.
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