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Title: Attempt at PH Legion Command Structures...
Description: why must the fluff contradict itself so!


DarkMythology - April 12, 2008 12:39 AM (GMT)
Here's my attempt at figuring out of the size of a SM legion preheresy. Or more correctly, the size of the smaller units that comprized it. Please chime in if anyone thinks they can help sort this mess out :)

PART 1

From "Military Heirarchy of the Imperium"

Most legions "could muster at least 100,000 combatants." The Ultramarines could call upon over 250,000 space marines. (That's a lotta smurfs...)

---I take this to mean that, PH, most of the 18 legions would be at least 100,000 men in size, but not all. Thus, at least a couple legions were below 100,000 strong. The Emperor's Children are an obvious candidate, but were any other legions considered to be "small" legions?

The core unit of fighting men in most legions was a Company, comprised of 100 "fighting men" led by a Captain. (So it likely didn't include drivers, techmarines, etc seconded to it in that number). Note that at least some of the Luna Wolves companies were 300 marines strong, as it states in the novels, so there was likely some variation on the total numbers (from instance, 25 companies at minimum in the LW X 300 marines = 75,000, that we'd know of. Not too far off from the estimate. And the Death Guard only had 7 companies, so they almost certainly had to have smaller divisions and levels of commanders than those used by a "typical" legion.)

---So a "typical" company would be 100 marines, while the larger ones like the Death Guard (who had 7) or the Space Wolves (who I believe only had 13) could be upwards of 14,000 marines strong! Does anyone else have any issue with this fluff? Was it possible that the SW and DG were only about 15,000 marines strong pre-heresy?

Companies are usually grouped into a Battallion, consisting of 5 companies, and led by a Lieutenant Commander. These are often joined together in pairs, to form units of 1000 marines, often called a regiment, wing, chapter, or great company, and are often led by a Commander or Lord Commander.

---It seems that in some Chapters where there was a lack of qualified Officers (like the EC), some Captains were given a greater responsibility (i.e. Saul and Lucius), though these two were paired in battle, meaning that, most likely, the EC's emphasis of trickle-down command meant that you needed fewer officers to truly coordinate the legion. There is the distinction made by Eidelon, though, between true officers and line officers, meaning that it's possible that "line-officers" such as standard Captains, did serve under the higher-ups. Given his disdain though, I doubt that they were regarded very highly, and that a mere Captain in the EC would be considered of less distinction than a Captain in many other Legions.


DarkMythology - April 12, 2008 01:09 AM (GMT)
Part Two
Subtitled: Why none of this makes any sense over time.

What we know so far:
1. PH, there were around 100,000-250,000 marines per Legion, at fighting strength. (HH Artbooks)
2. The typical command heirarchy was to have groupings of 100-500 marines under a single commander. (HH Artbooks, HH Novels)
3. Higher-ups, in some cases, led many more marines personally (It's been noted that Eidolon [i think] was the first marine to lead 1000 men himself. From Fulgrim? Other source?)
4. Some legions had very few fighting units (Deathguard had only 7, Space Wolves had 13. From FotE and various SW lore.), while others had many (EC had at least 18, LW at least 25. I forget other numbers at the moment. Ultras likely had the most, but hopefully Battle for the Abyss will shed light on that.)


Emperor's Children:
At least 18 companies, with 2 Lord Commanders overseeing at least 1000 marines each.
1. Were any hard numbers given for company size in Fulgrim?
2. Just how small were they?
3. 18 companies with even 500 marines = only 9000 marines. Even if we assume that Eidolon and Vespasian each commanded their own 1000 marines, and factor in support staff, we'd likely come to under 15,000 marines. Is it reasonable to assume there were many more companies, who simply weren't practical/important to book into novelization?

Luna Wolves:
At least 25 companies, with 300 men established per company. This is closer to being true legion size at 75,000 marines. Once you factor in special troops, support troops, scout auxillaries, and so on, this seems to be not too far off, assuming that most legions were aroung the 100k mark.
1. Is the the most realistic portreyal of a Legion we've seen thus far?

Death Guard:
Highly problematic. Only 7 companies, but unless the Death Guard was very, very small, this seems impossible. They would have been huge, many thousands strong each. And since the EC were the firs tto have 1000 marines under one Commander, we'd have to believe that either the DG were a late-founded force, or that there were many, many, many sub-commanders running around out there.
1. ..... Any ideas here? ANyone?

That's all I remember off the top of my head. Does anyone remember anything about the other Legions that was concrete enough to draw numbers by? Any help would be great! Thanks!

Fulgrim - April 12, 2008 08:30 AM (GMT)
I assumed that each legion was of different sizes. So not all would be 100,000 marines some would be about 50,000 and so one. Also i thought the ECs had more than two Lord Commanders. It says in Fulgrim something about 'none of the troops selected for the drop to Isstvan were in Eidolon's favoured Lord Commanders companys'.

For the Death Guard i assumed that each company was about 750 marines making it about 5000 marines plus support staff and the rest. A smaller legion but still 5000 + astartes isnt something to mess with, but im ot sure.

Iacton - April 12, 2008 09:44 AM (GMT)
Another issue is the propensity to use different names for ranking officers within the Legions.
In the case of the ECs you have at least 2 "Lord Commanders" but no mention of a Chapter Master and a great many Captains. Similarly the LW/SoH who have Captains including the Mournival but also captains under these captains' command i.e. Falkus Kibre (if I remember correctly).
The SW have Wolf Lords of the 13 Great Companies but after that, command structure seems to disintegrate into "pack leaders" and nothing more.
I daren't even think about a Legion like the TS, their command structure is anyone's guess.
As for the others, and in my ignorance of the Index Astartes fluff which gets ret-conned faster than I can read <_< , I don't know enough to speculate.

My rule of thumb in my head is that the "Legion" as a model contains approx 10 "Chapters", in turn made up of 10 "Companies" and they consist of 10 "Squads" of 10 troops.
Legion led by Primarch, Chapter led by Chapter Master/Lord Commander/Wolf Lord/whatever, Company led by Captain, squad by Sergeant. Total approx 10000 plus auxiliaries and non-combatants. Again I would say approx 10 apothecaries per Chapter plus a chief Apothecary, same for Chaplains where they aren't integrated into command structure (WB), 1 Tech per vehicle, then servitors, adjutants etc.
Now I appreciate that this is altruistic and that virtually no Legion follows this anywhere near precisely, but then the size and structure can be stretched and squeezed accordingly.
I think that the matter becomes more confused in the period of heresy where surreptitious "deck shuffling" and maneuvering of favourites/lodge members means the command structure is completely overhauled and maybe sections of the legions are then led by individuals by force of will/personality as much as rank.

Anyway, thats my tuppence worth :)

byram - April 12, 2008 04:46 PM (GMT)
QUOTE (Iacton @ Apr 12 2008, 01:44 AM)
My rule of thumb in my head is that the "Legion" as a model contains approx 10 "Chapters", in turn made up of 10 "Companies" and they consist of 10 "Squads" of 10 troops.
Legion led by Primarch, Chapter led by Chapter Master/Lord Commander/Wolf Lord/whatever, Company led by Captain, squad by Sergeant. Total approx 10000 plus auxiliaries and non-combatants. Again I would say approx 10 apothecaries per Chapter plus a chief Apothecary, same for Chaplains where they aren't integrated into command structure (WB), 1 Tech per vehicle, then servitors, adjutants etc.
Now I appreciate that this is altruistic and that virtually no Legion follows this anywhere near precisely, but then the size and structure can be stretched and squeezed accordingly.
I think that the matter becomes more confused in the period of heresy where surreptitious "deck shuffling" and maneuvering of favourites/lodge members means the command structure is completely overhauled and maybe sections of the legions are then led by individuals by force of will/personality as much as rank.

Anyway, thats my tuppence worth :)

this is similar to what was written in Angels of Darkness

Fulgrim - April 12, 2008 07:51 PM (GMT)
For the Thousand Sons i assumed they were lead by senior Librarians who lead their own cabals. Each of these cabals were ranging from size and then it went from Senior Librarian to Understudy Librarians then to non-psyker commanders. But thats a huge guess.

Gagoc TheAncient - April 12, 2008 08:34 PM (GMT)
If you're wondering about basic Legion sizes I would direct you to any copy of a Horus Heresy novel.
On the fifth page you will find a piece entitled 'The Horus Heresy', 'It is a time of Legend.'

The fifth paragraph of this piece has a basic ball-park figure for the size of a Legion.
And as this is in a HH novel, it's current fluff and canon.


As an example take the Luna Wolves.
In Horusing Rising There is mention of one Lev Goshen, Captain of the 25th Company. So we can say that there is at least 25 companies of Astartes in the Luna Wolves.

Also in the same book, Garviel Loken's 10th company is said to have 600 Astartes.

So if we take the 10th company as a typical size and multiply it by the minimum number of companies comprising the Legion, then we can say that the Luna Wolves had a fighting force of at least 15,000 Astartes.

This doesn't take really into account the possibility of larger or more companies of Astartes, nor does it account for the support staff and ships personnel.

GreyWolf - April 13, 2008 07:23 PM (GMT)
I'll look at this from a mathematical point of view. There are (roughly) 1000 Chapters of loyal Marines post-heresy, each consisting of about 1000 Marines. Given that the Imperium no longer uses the Traitor's geneseed, this means that the 1,000,000 Marines "currently" serving must come from the 9 Loyalist Legions/ Chapters. Divide the number of Marines by the number of loyalist Legions, and you get 111,111.1 (repeating). This suppports the size range that Dark Mythology originally proposed. Of course, we know that the Ultramarines founded a good deal of the Second Founding Chapters, but this is taken into account by virtue of the fact that they were larger than all the other Legions.

Having said that, I do realise that mathematics can only go so far; of course I know that we cannot possibly have .11111 marine. Also, it does not necessarily take into account the Traitor Legions, as the Imperium quite obviously does not want to use their geneseed any longer. Additionally, post-heresy Marines may also be created/ recruited, so Chapters could (theoritically) be made up entirely from "scratch" so-to-speak (meaning that no Marines are required intially).

In any case, I'll base the rest of this off the ~100,000 Marine-strong Legion size.
From Gagoc's example of the Luna Wolves (600 men to a Company), we find that there are roughly 167 Companies in a typical Legion. However, I'd like to think (and this is purely speculation) that the number would be more regular, such as 170 or 175 to account for smaller, specialized companies (i.e assualt, devastator, etc.). Unfortunately, we are not informed as to whether or not this 600 Marine figure takes into account Commanders, Chaplains, Apothecaries, Command Squads, etc. This could bring the number up to about 650 depending on how much support staff a particular Company employs. In any case, assuming a rough number of 170 companies, that means that there are 170 Company Captains, with additional Captains of individual elite squads (ex. Capt.Kalus Ekkadon of the Catulan Reaver Squad). Just to keep the numbers "nice" and even, lets assume that there are ~200 Captains to a Legion.

As for the other support staff, I believe that their numbers would largely depend upon the Legion itself (i.e. more Techmarines in Iron Hands, more Chaplains in the Word Bearers, etc.). For a typical Legion, I'd hazard the guess that there would be roughly 1 Apothecary per Company (a small number, I know, but the novels make very little mention of them, and Galaxy in Flames only mentions Vaddon as far as medical staff go among the besieged loyalists). So just for the sake of consistency, we may as well assume that there are an equal number of Apothecaries and Captains. As no Chaplains are ever mentioned among the Luna Wolves (to my knowledge), we can assume that their numbers were very low (maybe as little as 25 or so). Techmarines I would also see as being low in number (most mechanical work among the Expedition Fleets would fall to the Mechanicum adepts such as Regulus). So 25 seems a reasonable number for them as well (in my opinion).

When all this is added together, we come up with the following: 1 Primarch, 200 Captains, 200 Apothecaries, 25 Chaplains, 25 Techmarines, and 100,000 Battle Brothers (split among 170 Companies). This brings our grand total of personnel to 100451 Astartes per Legion. Note that this still does not factor in drivers (which may or may not be part of the 100000 Marines), servitors, and other more Legion-specific postions (such as Death Guard Housecarls). I'm also not sure if Scouts are factored into the number of Astartes or not. In any case, this is all just my guess at Legion structure, and is not meant to be definitive or absolute (so please don't take it as such).

Anyway, I hope at least some of that helps.

EDIT: I just wanted to say that I'm not trying to hijack this thread with this lengthy post, so please keep the discussion going.

Iacton - April 14, 2008 10:23 AM (GMT)
I agree largely, perhaps i should have clarified the point of 1 Tech per vehicle. I seem to remember reading in more than 1 novel that Rhinos, Thunderhawks, etc were either being driven by Techmarines or servitors. I would see the drivers as semi-combatants erring on the side of Techs. Maybe not quite as "culty-techmarine" as the superstitious mumblers that the current Techs are made out to be, but more a mechanic with a gun ;)

As for the Chaplains, I think that their relative importance isn't brought out much in the novel series. This is probably because, in theory, there is no "Imperial Faith". So they are probably there as a token gesture in many Legions. That said, I would have them down as being a symbol of inspiration in much the same way as a company standard, so I would guess there's as many Chaplains as standards?

As for apothecaries, again yes, 1 per company, since effectively their main role is geneseed harvesting and administering the last rites on a battlefield. And then fitting bionics and surgery off of it with the help of techs and servitors.

Fulgrim - April 14, 2008 01:23 PM (GMT)
I thought that Chaplians were around pre-heresy to root out those with the psyker taint and execute them in accordance with the Emperor's edict on Nikea.So i assumed there werent many of them because it wasn't a major problem at the time.

Iacton - April 14, 2008 03:42 PM (GMT)
Weren't the librarians of most of the Legions just returned to their companies as regular battle bros.? It would be a bit harsh, even for marines, to turn round after Nikea and just cull the Librarians. But I had forgotten about that ;)

Manneus Drath - April 15, 2008 03:37 AM (GMT)
I seem to remember pre-heresy Chaplains as having a similar role to present-41st-millenium Commisars. Keep the troops in line, inspire them, etc.

Weiss - April 15, 2008 08:22 AM (GMT)
The chaplains were there to make sure the ex-librarians didn't use their powers, not to kill them. Well that's my understanding anyway. Remember, the Imperial Truth still stood at that time, so there wouldn't have been some Legion-wide religious feeding frenzy...

Torg - July 16, 2008 07:33 AM (GMT)
But I was still always under the impression that their
were Chaplains 1 per Company,like the normal 40k
chaplains,Also their has to be more troops in the traitor
legions then just those numbers.It doesn't add up! I mean look at
nowadays(40k),The Black legion still has a quite a big number,
as does the death guard,basically if their were those numbers
still with those legions that sided with Horus,minus the battles,
The siege of the Emporer's palace,all the Black crusades,They
would be extinct.I mean with all the 40k fluff,I have not read anywhere
that they recruited more in their battles and stuff.How is this possible? :huh:
any ideas? :huh: :blink: :unsure:

Sorry, if I resurrected a couple month old site,
but I thought I'd put my two cents in. ;)

Weiss - July 16, 2008 10:06 AM (GMT)
The Iron Warriors have recruited new members using stolen Limp Wrist geneseed, and I believe Fabius Bile dabbles around with it too. There have been several storylines dealing with traitors trying to get their hands on geneseed so they can get more recruits.

I would agree that one chaplain per company would be logical - they are there to keep a close eye. Then again, they could have just been assigned to companies that had ex-libbys in them...

Shockwave - July 16, 2008 04:31 PM (GMT)
{Conjecture}
As a random chipping in:

I'd be quite happy to believe also that the Legions might have varied so enormously in size, when we consider their rate of split in the 2nd Founding.

The Ultramarines spawned many Chapters (and would have to spawn at least 200+) in order to achieve the new Codex Astartes 1,000 troops. Those marines didn't just disappear. Now, we can presume a lot lost during the Heresy itself, but even at 50% losses (which might sound reasonable, but you have to remember a 50% loss to most 'real' military formations usually results in the other 50% being a complete waste of materiel) we're left with 149,000 Marines to put into Chapters.

In fact, the Space Wolf theoretical limit of 15,000 sounds fairly reasonable at this stage, giving us the Wolf Brothers (their only documented Founding) and the original Legion.

Regarding specialists; I've always believed there were several Apothecaries per Company, as some of the early fluff lists (for geneseed reclaimation reasons) that most Chapters try to always deploy at least one with a given force of any size. Chaplains I think are rather more singular, and remember that not every marine who undertakes training in the Armouries becomes a Techmarine. It's meant to be a fairly rare few who make the full prilgrimage to Mars, etc.

Kharn - July 16, 2008 06:21 PM (GMT)
Well, for Apothocaries, Chaplains, and Librarians, there are different levels of each speciality. A company would usually have a couple apothocaries and the new recruits learning under them (you can't have 1 apothocary administering 100-150 marines!). For chaplains, there are probably several chaplians in a company as well as a Reclusiarch in command of them, or at least in command of the entire Chaplain force in a chapter. For Librarians, theres like 3 different levels, so I'm guessing there are at least 2 or 3 in each company.

Also, a bunch of chaplains usually hold the fort back at a Chapter's fortress monestary, and oversee new members to the chapter and their trainig, so there are at least a bunch back there.

Weiss - July 17, 2008 06:49 AM (GMT)
I would disagree concerning chaplains - at this stage, their role is mainly to ensure the psyker ban is being applied. They happen to be chosen from amongst the most zealous individuals in a Legion, so the bleed-over into commissarial work probably happenned naturally. I think one per company is more than enough.

Apothecaries, though, I would agree on. If a current (40k) company has one apothecary (according to codex organisation), then you could expect about six in the Luna Wolves 10th Company. How long the geneseed remains harvestable for could alter that estimation.

I've always though 1/100 marines was a bit small. Don't we have a medic in every squad nowadays? (This could just be movie-inspired knowledge though... :D).

Librarians I would personally consider much rarer. Considering how many companies there could be in a Legion, 2 or 3 per such unit would suggest a frequency of mutation that would be worrying in any Legion, barring maybe the Thousand Sons... Plus, I like the 40k idea of them being part of the Librarium and not attached to a specific company... :)

sonofvulkan - May 22, 2009 08:30 PM (GMT)
the salamanders had the fewest marines.

ShroudFilm - May 24, 2009 12:49 AM (GMT)
QUOTE (sonofvulkan @ May 22 2009, 08:30 PM)
the salamanders had the fewest marines.

Aside from the ten month thread necro... canon source for that statement?

Whitehorn - May 24, 2009 12:55 PM (GMT)
QUOTE (ShroudFilm @ May 24 2009, 12:49 AM)
QUOTE (sonofvulkan @ May 22 2009, 08:30 PM)
the salamanders had the fewest marines.

Aside from the ten month thread necro... canon source for that statement?




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