How to design marine regiments in the horus heresy.
By andy chambers white dwarf 126
The Legions Astartes or Space Marines are the Emperorís elite fighting force. Marines are tougher, faster, stronger, more disciplined and more zealous than any other warriors in the Imperium. Only once have the Marines ever betrayed the Emperorís trust when, to their eternal shame, fully half the legions Astartes pledged loyalty to the Warmaster Horus and plunged Humanity into the bloodiest civil war of all time Ė the Horus Heresy.
Within the Space Marines, the largest organization is the chapter. Each chapter includes enough men and material to form a complete field army including support troops, transport elements and techmarines to allow the chapter to fight as a completely self-sufficient force. During the Horus Heresy, Space Marine chapters are of much greater size than those formed afterwards out of their shattered remenants. The chapters fighting in the Heresy contain tens of thousands of Marines. Many of the most famous Marine chapters took part in the Heresy: chapters such as the Dark Angels, Space Wolves, Ultramarines and Blood Angels on the Loyalist side, and the World Eaters, Thousand Sons, Death Guard, Emperorís Children and Sons of Horus on the Traitor side.
In each chapter, Marines are formed into regiments. A regiment acts as a flexible battlefield organization capable of independently undertaking most tasks but more often forming part of a mixed battleforce for major campaigns. At the time of the Heresy, a Marine chapter contains up to twenty regiments often including specialized regiments such as drop and assault regiments to undertake planetary assaults or close assault regiments for clearing heavily defended positions and fortified cities.
Each Marine regiment is organized according to the precepts laid down by the Codex Imperialis, the ancient tomes that are housed within the a great library in the Emperorís Palace on Terra and which define the battle order for the Space Marines. The Codex Imperialis states that each regiment contains three battalions and that each battalion contains three companies, with special additional forces at the battalion and regimental level. Although the type of Marines, their armament and their vehicles varies from chapter to chapter, this basic level of organisation remains the same throughout the Legiones Astartes.
Marines are often fielded as one or more battalions. The battalion is a large enough force to give its commander a range of troop options with additional support at the battalion level, but small enough to act as a fast-moving, hard-hitting spearhead, employing the Marinesí classic tactics of surprise attack to crush key defensive points and bring the enemy swiftly to its knees.
Within each battalion, there are three companies. The company is the basic battlefield group and individual companies often have quite specific roles to play, being assigned tactical objectives within the commanderís overall battle strategy. Many companies specialize in a single type of equipment, for example Terminator companies, bike companies, recon companies all mounted on Land Speeders, and so forth. Other companies contain a range of equipment to allow a flexible response. Each regiment contains mix of specialist and flexible companies within its three battalions.
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