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Was the Eisensteins warning pointless?


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#1
Angel_of_Blood

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So the whole point of the Eisenstein escaping is to warn the Emperor and others of Horus treachery. This is pretty much told as a setback for Horus and the traitors. But it also doesn’t make that much sense at the same time.

Istvaan V was planned before the Eisenstein escaped, before Istvaan III had even occurred for that matter. But for V to work, the Imperium has to know of the treachery and dispatch the retribution fleet to Istvaan. How were they going to reveal themselves and get the loyalists to come to Istvaan V, without the Eisensteins warning? The massacre still played out as well as they could have hoped for by all accounts.
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#2
Kelborn

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True but that news wouldn't have reached Terra as fast as with the Eisenstein.
Otherwise, Horus would've been more in control of what information were passed over.
Could've prepared a false story to undermine any survivor report.

He still would've had the moment of surprise on his side when attacking Terra right after Istvaan instead of a grinding campaign of conquering the Imperium bit by bit.
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#3
Angel_of_Blood

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He still would've had the moment of surprise on his side when attacking Terra right after Istvaan instead of a grinding campaign of conquering the Imperium bit by bit.


But Istvaan V always seems to have been his plan from the beginning. He didn’t believe he would be able to get to Terra without being found out, and as the Ultramarines and Blood Angels showed, there was no guarantee that even with a plan to massacre some of the legions, that they would be successful.

So Istvaan V seems completely integral to his plan to eliminate several legions and their Primarchs, even if that didn’t fully pan out. But they were fully bunkered in when the first three loyalist legions arrived. With the other four traitors arriving just on cue. Cant see how more time would have helped Istvaan V go any better.

#4
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Istvaan 5 was a plan, that does not mean it was the only plan. Horus might have had a fairly complete picture of the Imperium's military but they weren't omniscient so he almost certainly had dozens of plans and contingencies lined up, the Istvaan 5 massacre we got was not even the most deadly plan potentially.


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#5
MegaVolt87

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I don't remember the exact details, but wasn't the Eisenstein kinda allowed to escape to setup Istvaan V? I'm not seeing how 9 legions making a beeline for Terra after I3 purge even with a successful coverup doesn't arouse any suspicion- Malcador gives paranoid Perty a run for his money lol. Whats the excuse for 9 whole legions to be in Sol at one time? Maybe multiple rebellions are triggered relatively close to Sol, then after they are sorted, the 9 legions go to Sol for "resupply". Point is, there would have had to be something else happening after I3 instead of a beeline to Terra. 


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#6
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I always thought it was pointless because Fulgrim immediately spilled the beans to Ferrus anyway.

 

The impression I got was that Horus wanted to be more dug in when the loyalists arrived, but turned that to his advantage by making the pre-shattered legions cocky. This would probably have been more evident if the event was given appropriate page time in a single work.


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#7
DarkChaplain

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There's some serious timeline trouble with Isstvan V in general.

 

We have stuff like the Word Bearers being set to rendezvous with Guilliman at Calth, with Horus maneuvering Guilliman for it, while Isstvan V is basically already done - the Word Bearers couldn't be in two places at once, least of all with Lorgar and co.

The Lion knows about the call for Isstvan V but doesn't join it, instead deciding to go and prepare the Legion to join later, but he never actually does because Thramas happens. But Thramas involves Curze, who is still at Isstvan V scaring the daylights out of Corax and saving Lorgar's butt.

Ferrus already went ahead of the rest of the fleet by the time Jonson hands over siege engines to Perturabo, but the Imperial Fists just get stranded with their retribution fleet at Phall, where they clash with the Iron Warriors post-Isstvan V.

 

There are so many different plotlines surrounding Isstvan V that just don't really add up well, even accounting for variable travel speed. There's a clear lack of a combining focus, and it doesn't help that the traitor council after the dropsite massacre only happened in Aurelian, which was exclusive for well over two years and only reprinted over 30 books into the series, way after the Dropsite Massacre was covered in Fulgrim or even The First Heretic.

 

What we got for Isstvan V was clearly not enough, or at least not handled well enough. Just like Horus changing Russ's orders for Prospero, or basically anything Horus after, the overall scheme behind the Heresy just fell through the cracks. Important plot points or character intentions are merely hinted at, progression is skipped, and big events like the Dropsite Massacre are split not only throughout numerous novels (Fulgrim, The First Heretic, Deliverance Lost, The Outcast Dead in parts, Vulkan Lives, even The Damnation of Pythos), novellas (Aurelian, Scorched Earth, The Crimson Fist) and short stories (Raven's Fight, Massacre, Veritas Ferrum, Artefacts, a ton of Shattered Legions shorts).

 

Isstvan V is probably the most fragmented piece of the Heresy there is, to its detriment. Instead of being a real setpiece of intense scope, it's one of the more easily forgotten parts of the Heresy - despite being maybe the most pivotal in the war for all it affected going forward.


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#8
Valkyrion

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Where in the timeline is Magnus careening through the imperial dungeon to warn the emperor about Horus?  Is it before Horus even officially turned, or is it after Isstvan 3 or 5?

 

The eisensteins warning is as pointless as Magnus' warning in as much as the Emperor already 'knew' - he may not have known it was Horus, he may not have known it was now but he knew the 'XX Heresy' was going to happen - but Garro certainly broke the news to Dorn and from there it spiralled to the other legions. 



#9
Roomsky

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Where in the timeline is Magnus careening through the imperial dungeon to warn the emperor about Horus?  Is it before Horus even officially turned, or is it after Isstvan 3 or 5?

 

The eisensteins warning is as pointless as Magnus' warning in as much as the Emperor already 'knew' - he may not have known it was Horus, he may not have known it was now but he knew the 'XX Heresy' was going to happen - but Garro certainly broke the news to Dorn and from there it spiralled to the other legions. 

 

Magnus tries to warn the Emperor as quickly as he can after he fails to convince Horus. It's well before Isstvan 5, and presumably before Isstvan 3 as well. The warning isn't exactly heeded.


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#10
byrd9999

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I think it goes like this: Magnus knew about Horus being tempted by Chaos while he (Horus) was in his anathame-induced coma. Magnus visits him in his dreams/visions and tries to warn Horus. When that doesn't look like it's going to work, he (Magnus) flies off to Terra and destroys his Dad's man cave.

 

So, this would be pre-Isstvan.



#11
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The Emperor ignored Magnus' warning because a giant blood sacrifice chaos powered ritual that directly served the Chaos gods interests gave him cause to belive Magnus was compromised for some reason, meaning he couldnt take anything Magnus said at face value. Though he did pull the Fists out of the line back to Terra just in case.

I think Istvaan 5 really suffered from the 10 book plan, or possibly some scheme to cover it in more detail in various Legion books, most of which never happened. Then they had to try and fix it when the series expanded. Definitely agree it was a big waste though, that and the Titandeath which also deserved a couple of books as a similarly apocalyptic conflict.



#12
DarkChaplain

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The reason why Magnus' warning seems so weirdly placed in the timeline is The Outcast Dead, where the fallout from Magnus breaching the palace shakes up not only the plot of the novel, while references to Isstvan V being at the very least prepared for / happening in parallel exist.

 

Turns out that, yes, Magnus' psychic warning did leak out of the palace post-Isstvan, but originated two years or so earlier within the palace wards. The aftershock presented in TOD is a delayed effect of the wards being properly breached after prolonged stress working to contain the fallout.

 

I'm still going to attribute this TOD switcheroo to be intentional, rather than a mistake, with the big failing being McNeill and BL not getting Wolf Hunt, the novel's sequel, recorded and released quickly enough to cleanly attach to the book's end. It was planned seemingly in tandem, but only released a year and a half later, all during a time where print releases for new novels were happening at a more rapid pace in mass market paperback land. Back then, BL didn't record in-house, so they had to work with Heavy Entertainment or Big Finish instead.


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#13
MegaVolt87

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Yeah, I never really followed along well with Istvaan V- until I read about it in the HH black books. FW did a better job. 


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#14
MarineRaider

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I have a huge problem with the entire premise of the ambush of the Legions.

 

So you're a " loyal" Primarch, 3 of them actually and you are racing to crush those pesky traitors which are basically the same size as you, but wait, you have backups...

in the form of the Night Lords and Iron Warriors? Not one of these super beings thought to ask are we sure those guys are on our team? No one said perhaps we should wait for a

more favorable attack ratio ? No one said where is their fleets...why can we land unopposed? ( on that why not orbital bombard them? ) Lastly, no one thought to leave a force in orbit and in position just in case these second wave Legions are with Horus?

 

Throughout the HH books we have seen in particular loyal legions interact with the traitor legions and they already had prejudices and doctrine issues yet in something as earth shattering as turning on their father they assumed these legions were loyal. As a military guy we avoid that word fairly diligently. 



#15
Valkyrion

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I have a huge problem with the entire premise of the ambush of the Legions.

 

So you're a " loyal" Primarch, 3 of them actually and you are racing to crush those pesky traitors which are basically the same size as you, but wait, you have backups...

in the form of the Night Lords and Iron Warriors? Not one of these super beings thought to ask are we sure those guys are on our team? No one said perhaps we should wait for a

more favorable attack ratio ? No one said where is their fleets...why can we land unopposed? ( on that why not orbital bombard them? ) Lastly, no one thought to leave a force in orbit and in position just in case these second wave Legions are with Horus?

 

Throughout the HH books we have seen in particular loyal legions interact with the traitor legions and they already had prejudices and doctrine issues yet in something as earth shattering as turning on their father they assumed these legions were loyal. As a military guy we avoid that word fairly diligently. 

 

I do get this, but I also think that the RG, IH and Salamanders had to go on faith that at the AL, WB, NL and IW were still their allies.

 

From the loyalists point of view - the Word Bearers have been the best* crusade force since Monarchia and would like nothing better than to usurp the Emperor's favourite son. The Alpha Legion had never shown any overt signs of rebellion and there's also the fact that (spoiler)

Spoiler

 

Ditto the Iron Warriors and Night Lords - one dour and miserable and the other paranoid and murderous, but nothing that screamed 'traitor'.

 

So it's really the benefit of looking at it from the readers point of view - you know that those legions are traitor therefore it's difficult to see why the in lore characters can't, because it's so clear to us. 

 

if you rewrite the fiction yourself and replace NL, AL, WB and IW with SW, UM, IF and BA you'd be able to find your own reasons for each of them to be traitors and equally find excuses for the IH, RG and Salamanders to be ignorant of it. 


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#16
MegaVolt87

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I have a huge problem with the entire premise of the ambush of the Legions.

 

So you're a " loyal" Primarch, 3 of them actually and you are racing to crush those pesky traitors which are basically the same size as you, but wait, you have backups...

in the form of the Night Lords and Iron Warriors? Not one of these super beings thought to ask are we sure those guys are on our team? No one said perhaps we should wait for a

more favorable attack ratio ? No one said where is their fleets...why can we land unopposed? ( on that why not orbital bombard them? ) Lastly, no one thought to leave a force in orbit and in position just in case these second wave Legions are with Horus?

 

Throughout the HH books we have seen in particular loyal legions interact with the traitor legions and they already had prejudices and doctrine issues yet in something as earth shattering as turning on their father they assumed these legions were loyal. As a military guy we avoid that word fairly diligently. 

 

I do get this, but I also think that the RG, IH and Salamanders had to go on faith that at the AL, WB, NL and IW were still their allies.

 

From the loyalists point of view - the Word Bearers have been the best* crusade force since Monarchia and would like nothing better than to usurp the Emperor's favourite son. The Alpha Legion had never shown any overt signs of rebellion and there's also the fact that (spoiler)

Spoiler

 

Ditto the Iron Warriors and Night Lords - one dour and miserable and the other paranoid and murderous, but nothing that screamed 'traitor'.

 

So it's really the benefit of looking at it from the readers point of view - you know that those legions are traitor therefore it's difficult to see why the in lore characters can't, because it's so clear to us. 

 

if you rewrite the fiction yourself and replace NL, AL, WB and IW with SW, UM, IF and BA you'd be able to find your own reasons for each of them to be traitors and equally find excuses for the IH, RG and Salamanders to be ignorant of it. 

 

 

I think thats a fair assessment. I don't recall Horus having much positive to say about the four backup legions to the IH,RG and Sallies at Istvaan V. I think he was on good terms with Vulkan and Ferrus, bad blood with Corax. He had super obvious close ties with Fulgrim, Morty, Sanguinius and the Khan (Khan swore a blood oath with Horus? + Horus was bummed out the most that Khan didn't follow him I think). Everyone else just seemed to be kinda "there". Where I am stumped is the relationships with the primarchs of the initial three legions vs the four re-enforcing ones. Only thing I can remember is some drama with Konrad and Vulkan, but it wasn't as bad with Konrad and Dorn. 


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#17
Valkyrion

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Horus knew that the Dark Angels and Ultramarines were the most powerful legions/biggest threats, so he sent them far away. If they were within range then they would have been sent to Isstvan V also.

Erebus wanted Sanguinius turned, but Horus knew he wouldn't, so wanted him killed instead, after which the Blood Angels wouldn't have been a real threat by the time Signus was dealt with. 

The Imperial Fists were not going to leave Terra or it's immediate vicinity in enough numbers to really help the loyalists at Isstvan.

The wolves and thousand sons are tearing lumps out of each other.

 

So from the Imperial point of view, you've got 4 traitor legions (4), three loyal legions at Isstvan (7), four not in positions to help (11), and two already at war with each other on a seemingly separate issue (13).  

That only leaves five legions left from the 18. (I can't remember what the white scars were doing....anyone?)

 

Hobson's choice for the Loyalists really.



#18
Noserenda

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Well the Night Lords had sort of unofficially gone rogue for a few years before Istvaan, but not in a way that might make the others think they had sided with Horus.



#19
Valkyrion

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Well the Night Lords had sort of unofficially gone rogue for a few years before Istvaan, but not in a way that might make the others think they had sided with Horus.

 

Yeah, they were more murderous and difficult to control, but nothing particularly anti Emperor. It's not prejudice if you hate everyone equally. msn-wink.gif



#20
MarineRaider

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Well the Night Lords had sort of unofficially gone rogue for a few years before Istvaan, but not in a way that might make the others think they had sided with Horus.

My point is if Horus can turn traitor you have to assume anyone can. Ferrus really screwed up and paid for it, racing to be first without proper recon and intel.

 

The military questions alone would have had these supposed Generals on pause. Three fleets arrive in system and are not opposed by any traitor fleet action...why? Horus is supposed to be a consummate general, so right off the bat he gives up the high ground? What is Ferrus was so angry he just decided to launch a virus attack on Horus like Horus did to his own men, sure we know now how it played out but let me tell you if I was the commander I saturate bomb the planet, why would I give up a single Space Marine if I didn't have too?

 

This honor thing is BS. Horus was a traitor as were the legions with him, exterminate them and the planet they are on and you can fabricate any story you like for the good of the Imperium after the fact. That should have been the go to plan, spread the three legions out to cover escapes and reverse Istavaan on Horus.

 

At the very least they needed 2:1 ratio to attack prepared positions, they have no idea what Horus is planning and obviously a trap as why would a traitor bent on toppling the entire Imperium decided to stage a land battle on a single planet where you could be contained, a planet killing torpedo attack ends the HH in its tracks. So as you're awaiting the other Legions you start softening the hard prepared positions and when Cruze and Pert arrive and see 3 fleets pummeling the planet what exactly would be their reaction?

 

Calling their brothers and demanding to know why they are doing that and why have they not landed invasion forces? that might raise an eyebrow or two...How about the IW and NL land first, we will back you up.

 

Ive read all the books, I know they were hamstrung to this story but its a really bad plot point from common sense and military doctrine.

 

BTW The White Scars were sent to Chondex by Horus to chase Orks.


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#21
Captain Idaho

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Orders from Terra and therefore the Emperor himself - Horus went rogue with 3 other Legions at his side, you are to destroy him alongside the following Legions..."

The 3 Loyalist Legions at Terra were ordered to do something and given information as to who were the traitors... they can't go assuming their allies are also Traitors because how could they know each other weren't going to also betray them? And they couldn't trust the Orders if they doubted who were part of it.

Had the Loyalists not been betrayed at Istvaan, the plan was sound. Even Manus forging ahead wouldn't have been the problem it became because he would have been reinforced by an entire Legion.

A mere orbital bombardment wasn't possible because the traitors had dug in on the ground and would have continued to survive, plus had fleet assets themselves, so the only way to defeat them was assault their ground forces whilst removing their fleet, otherwise they would have fled themselves.
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#22
Valkyrion

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They could have sent a single ship and cyclonic torpedoed the site from orbit. That's what Ripley would have done. 



#23
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They could have sent a single ship and cyclonic torpedoed the site from orbit. That's what Ripley would have done. 

Anyone with a siblings knows, sometimes its not about being efficient, its about looking them in the eye when you inflict just retribution.

 

And frankly real world history gives us plenty of examples of people acting in ways that they KNEW were not the best/most efficient. Sometimes its personal, sometimes its overconfidence, sometimes its just a inability to believe they can ever lose.

 

Ferrus Manus acted like a brother betrayed, its frankly his most human moment in the entire lore. Now if corax and vukan should have joined in? Plenty of room for both sides of the argument, but them supporting him is hardly a huge leap. 


Edited by nagashnee, 25 November 2021 - 11:30 AM.

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#24
MarineRaider

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Orders from Terra and therefore the Emperor himself - Horus went rogue with 3 other Legions at his side, you are to destroy him alongside the following Legions..."

The 3 Loyalist Legions at Terra were ordered to do something and given information as to who were the traitors... they can't go assuming their allies are also Traitors because how could they know each other weren't going to also betray them? And they couldn't trust the Orders if they doubted who were part of it.

Had the Loyalists not been betrayed at Istvaan, the plan was sound. Even Manus forging ahead wouldn't have been the problem it became because he would have been reinforced by an entire Legion.

A mere orbital bombardment wasn't possible because the traitors had dug in on the ground and would have continued to survive, plus had fleet assets themselves, so the only way to defeat them was assault their ground forces whilst removing their fleet, otherwise they would have fled themselves.

 

Where is there any information of the traitors fleet assets during this action? The loyalist made unopposed approach to the planet and it wasn't until their " allies" appeared that fleet action commenced once the betrayal started. Further....so I am a Raven Guard captain of a battle barge and wondering why my allies are suddenly moving their fleet assets into attacking positions? Again, your fleet arrives unopposed and no one asked where is the VS or any of the other Gloriana class ships are? How do they even know Horus is on the planet? You have the greatest legion in stealth and intel gathering at your disposal, Corax should have held true to his nature and training, suspect everyone and send down his best to determine what they were up against and await the full might of 5 Legions as 3 versus 3 was not going to optimal on prepared positions....but that is another flaw in the story.

 

Finally, Horus, the Warmaster the ultimate General....so is the gap between him and the rest so bad no one thought to ask themselves how he was going to beat 15 other legions?


Edited by MarineRaider, 25 November 2021 - 06:00 PM.

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#25
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Orders from Terra and therefore the Emperor himself - Horus went rogue with 3 other Legions at his side, you are to destroy him alongside the following Legions..."

The 3 Loyalist Legions at Terra were ordered to do something and given information as to who were the traitors... they can't go assuming their allies are also Traitors because how could they know each other weren't going to also betray them? And they couldn't trust the Orders if they doubted who were part of it.

Had the Loyalists not been betrayed at Istvaan, the plan was sound. Even Manus forging ahead wouldn't have been the problem it became because he would have been reinforced by an entire Legion.

A mere orbital bombardment wasn't possible because the traitors had dug in on the ground and would have continued to survive, plus had fleet assets themselves, so the only way to defeat them was assault their ground forces whilst removing their fleet, otherwise they would have fled themselves.

 

Where is there any information of the traitors fleet assets during this action? The loyalist made unopposed approach to the planet and it wasn't until their " allies" appeared that fleet action commenced once the betrayal started. Further....so I am a Raven Guard captain of a battle barge and wondering why my allies are suddenly moving their fleet assets into attacking positions? Again, your fleet arrives unopposed and no one asked where is the VS or any of the other Gloriana class ships are? How do they even know Horus is on the planet? You have the greatest legion in stealth and intel gathering at your disposal, Corax should have held true to his nature and training, suspect everyone and send down his best to determine what they were up against and await the full might of 5 Legions as 3 versus 3 was not going to optimal on prepared positions....but that is another flaw in the story.

 

Finally, Horus, the Warmaster the ultimate General....so is the gap between him and the rest so bad no one thought to ask themselves how he was going to beat 15 other legions?

 

I am full on board on this.

How the massacre turned out is so flawed and the loyal legions and Ferrus in particular looked so dump and reckless that it was hard to read.

They should have at least give him a real reason to fall for that trap.


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