Follow TV Tropes

Following

Headscratchers / Warhammer40k Imperium

Go To

    open/close all folders 

Emperor And Primarchs

     Horus Heresy issues 
  • Two things about the Horus Heresy:
    • 1. Why does the Emperor seem to suck at basic management 101? Not telling the Primarchs pretty much anything about Chaos, allowing the weirder looking ones (Mortarion, Konrad Curze) to be marginalized by their peers, allowing problems to fester and become tradition before saying "nope, you can't do this any more" and dealing with them in the most heavy-handed way (Lorgar and his Emperor-worship, Magnus and his sorcery), among other things; your average undergrad fresh out of business school could lead a team better than that.
    • In Magnus's case no matter what he did it would have turned someone traitor, he had to do something about The Thousand Sons Sorcery but if he did to much they would probably betray if he had done anything other than as far as he could go without killing them the Space Wolves would likely have turned traitor out of their hatred for the Thousand Sons.
    • It was repeatedly stated that it was Horus who relayed incorrect order of complete destruction of Thousand Sons and Magnus. Emperor original orders were only to suspend Legion activities and arrest Magnus.
    • The real problem with Magnus's situation is that the Emperor had banned sorcery, which was Magnus's specialty. Magnus kept it up on the sly and learned about Horus's impending treachery. He then tried to warn the Emperor via sorcery to prove how useful it was, even though he had to really muscle it to get past the Imperial Palace's ward. Unfortunately, the force behind his message also wrecked the Webway Gate the Emperor was working on. Furious about his great work, the solution for humanity's dependence on the Warp, being ruined by something he had explicitly banned, all for a message he thought was a lie, the Emperor sends the Rout to bring Magnus to Terra to explain himself. As for why he sent the legion who hated the Thousand Sons, it's implied that the Rout were trained to be the Emperor's anti-astartes force.
    • The Emperor also rarely spent much time with primarchs other than Horus because in general the various legions where spread pretty thin usually conquering whole swaths of the galaxy with almost no input from the emperor, he may not have known about the problems until they had cemented themselves.
    • Not telling the Primarchs about Chaos may have been a good idea, at least in theory - Gods in the 40K universe run on the Power of Belief, so not mentioning Chaos at all is a good way to limit their power. Just a shame that other people already knew of Chaos...
    • There is also the fact that the two legions he punished, the Word Bearers and the Thousand Sons, were his most loyal legions. The Word Bearers were obviously devoted to him, and the Thousand Sons were still clinging to their loyalty even after the burning of Prospero. I guess the Emperor punished them so severely because he thought that they can handle it, and remain loyal; guess Emps is more of a Horrible Judge of Character than a bad long term thinker.
    • The Emperor being fundamentally human, it's no wonder he'd make some human mistakes. Since he's a callous leader more loyal to his ideal of humanity than the individuals themselves, he could very well have dismissed all the Primarchs as "tools" who don't have to feel and just have to obey his orders.
    • He also had Horus, his favorite son, who was just the one person who did get along with all the Primarchs. Surely his most loyal Primarch would have told him if any of them was becoming too problematic anyway, and the expunged records of the two missing Primarchs do indicate that kind of thing he'd do to any overtly rebellious sons.
    • 2. The final climatic battle of the Horus Heresy. According to Lexicanum, Horus saw that the Dark Angels, Space Wolves, and Ultramarines were coming in hours and so lowered the shields on his ship, allowing the Emperor to teleport on board. But thinking about it from the Emperor's perspective, wouldn't it make more sense to stay and wait for the reinforcements? The fact that Horus is practically inviting you on shows that he has more confidence about fighting and beating you in single combat than he does about fighting your army plus three loyalist legions, why would you go with the option that your enemy has a better chance of winning at?
    • The Emperor was fully capable of beating the pulp out of Horus without too much effort — he just didn't want to use everything he had to kill what had once been his favorite son. Perhaps he thought he could subdue him without having to kill him? However you spin it, the Emperor was clearly (justifiably) confident in his power, and so had no qualms about taking the fight to Horus. Heck, maybe he'd been planning to do it the whole time.
    • As far as I recall, the Emperor was not aware the reinforcements were inbound; in fact, they might not actually have been coming. So he thought this was a chance he could not afford to miss; he had betters odds of beating Horus than of winning the slow grinding defensive campaign.
    • In fairness to Horus, the thing about the Emperor 'incapable of bringing himself to kill his favoured son' is Imperial propaganda. The Chaos version of this event has Horus thrashing the Emperor on equal footing but dying because he got overconfident. And it is agreed by most Imperial scholars that the Emperor would never have been able to kill Horus had Sanguinius not softened him up first. Ultimately, we're looking at 10,000 years of oral tradition and legends mutated. The only authoritative insight into that battle will come (probably) in the last Horus Heresy novel. Which the writers say, is how the Heresy actually happened.
    • The current canon description (from third person limited to the Emperor) can be found in the collected visions book, which essentially consists of the Emperor holding back, getting his ass kicked, then, the moment Horus kills a custode, the Emperor curb-stomps him with, basically, Force Lightning.
    • That would explain it: had the Emperor aimed to kill Horus instead of subduing him he could have teleported a nuke or vortex weapon in.
Advertisement:

    Let's brainwash the Primarchs 
  • Why didn't the Emperor place somekind of psychic conditioning on the Primarchs, so that they wouldn't betray him? He probably had enough power and skill to do so.
    • They were his beloved sons. He trusted them implicitly. Besides which, they are extremely powerful psykers themselves.
    • I can buy the beloved son with Horus, but he didn't bring up the other Primarchs. He should realise he can't predict their behaviour as well.
    • Even if he didn't raise a lot of them, they're also still his flesh and blood and the God Emperor is generally depicted as being one of the only super powered beings that's genuinely a decent person who cares about every one under him. Brainwashing his sons might be a little out of line, and besides. His coma and the utter corruption of what he said that came after he fell is just too delicious not to make the basis of a horrible galaxy gone wrong.
    • All of the Primarchs were stolen away and hidden by the Powers of Chaos before they were 'born', which is why they are all so very different (having been raised on different worlds) and why the Emperor had to search them out one at a time. Quite possibly he WAS going to psychically condition the Primarchs into unblinking loyalty but never had the chance. It all makes sense to me as once that happened it would have been much, much harder for Chaos to corrupt any of them, which in turn would probably mean that the Heresy would never have occurred and Chaos would have been vanquished by the new Enlightened version of Mankind.
    • A possible answer to this (and the answer canon seems to be pointing to now) is that the Emperor did it on purpose: his sons were supposed to rebel. Spoilerific. Read Legion.
    • The Emperor may have planned to indoctrinate the Primarchs, but they were all spirited away from him anyway so he never had the chance. When he met them, he subsequently may have also figured that they were good enough for his purpose without brainwashing. Since there are two Primarchs whose records were expunged from history, the Emperor certainly could deal with anyone who opposed him.

    Improbable gifts 
  • In Horus Rising Horus shows a ring he got from the Emperor, which was apparently made a year before the Emperor was born. But as far as this Troper knows the Emperor was born 8000 B.C., so it was to early for jewelry made out of metal, wasn't it?
    • Per The Other Wiki, the earliest confirmed evidence of metalworking is a copper pendant dated to 8700 B.C., found in northern Iraq. Pretty close to Anatolia (modern Turkey), in fact, which old fluff claims is the Emperor's birthplace.
    • Gold and copper jewelry have been found in Neolithic archaeological digs; those metals could be found in pure form at the Earth's surface back then, so people started working them early on. And meteoric iron tools are sometimes found in the hands of Stone Age societies, too.
    • History in 40k is questionable. Remember, the Emperor was there, everyone else wasn't.
    • He's the Emperor. He was probably born in Atlantis, then sank the place to give himself a long-term technological advantage.

    The Emperor's changing size 
  • How big exactly was the Emperor? And did he somehow add all those funky improvements (two hearts and stuff) the Space Marines have?
    • The Emperor was normal human size, probably quite tall but still a normal human (not counting armour of course) and doesn't have all the extra bits that Space Marines and the Primarchs have. All his ability comes from his prodigious psychic powers (waaaaaay past alpha level psyker, at they very least rivalling Eldrad) which he uses to augment his strength, speed etc in combat.
    • Seeing as high-rank Imperial psykers can use biomancy to make alterations to their body in Dark Heresy, it would not be much of a stretch at all to believe that the single most powerful psyker to ever live could give himself a makeover. He's even been seen disguising himself when meeting the Primarchs for the first time.
    • On the other hand, Eldrad did tell the Emperor that his sons would betray him, so Eldrad was at least better at reading the future than the Emperor (which is what being a Farseer is all about, really).
    • The Emperor was enormous. He was at least the size of one of his Primarchs. To put that into perspective, the Primarchs were towering demi-gods of war whose gene-seed was used to create the Space Marine Legions, and the Emperor could best any one of them. Even Horus, even if it was close - and Horus had disposed of Sanguinius (Primarch of the Blood Angels) quite easily.
    • I remember reading somewhere (can't quote the source, alas) that the Emperor and his Primarchs quote unquote "towered as far above the Space Marines as they did above normal men". Assuming that towering means that a normal human comes to a Marine's shoulder or neck, that means that the shortest Space Marine would be somewhere around 6'6", give or take. Taking that to the Primarchs and the Emperor, a conservative estimate would be between seven-and-a-half to eight feet tall. With proportionate mass (presumably all muscle), a total weight, sans armor and gear, could be somewhere around 250 to 300 pounds.
    • Space Marines are at least 350 pounds, taking into account bones that are twice the normal density, extra bones (Internal plating), and the fact that not only are they two feet taller than the average person, but at least two feet wider as well. They also seem to have hands and feet that are much larger then an equivalently sized standard human would have, and rather then having the normal 'triangle' torso humans have, they have a torso shaped more like a barrel of solid muscle.
    • Marines are about 8ft tall. The Horus Heresy novels have a Primarch's waist at the level of a Marine's chest. Yeah, they're big bastards.
    • That would make them upwards of 16 feet tall.
    • Dawn of War 2 (possibly not the most accurate source possible) gives a more definite size for the Primarchs. It claims that they were 10 feet tall.
    • I have a illustration of the Emperor fighting Horus. They were about the same height as each other, but they were indeed head and shoulders taller than the marines around them.
    • Here I thought that the Marines were ten feet tall on average with the primarchs being 15 feet, though Magnus the Read was an exception for being freakishly big; so I'd say that he'd be eighteen to twenty feet tall. Your average member of the Adeptus Custodes would probably be in the area of twelve feet in height, as would Abaddon the Despoiler.
    • Magus is shown modifying his own height at will in 'Battle of the Fang.' Its never made clear if he was always able to do so, or if this is just a side affect of not really having a body anymore. The Emperor himself is described alternatively as being either a big as a Primarch, or just taller then most humans. He's also described as frequently as having a shifting appearance, going from old and noble, to young and vibrant, to all over the place while having conversations. The Emperor also appears to be more 'human' shaped then space marines, while the Primarchs range from being stupendously wide like their sons (Guilliman, Angron, Horus) to human shaped (Sanguinius, Fulgrim).
    • If you want to see how tall the average Space Marine is, take a trip to Warhammer World. They have a life-size marine there (I forget what chapter).
    • One story presents the point of view of a Sister of Silence, who's immune to psychic powers, looking at the Emperor. Apparently he's just an average-sized man who makes himself bigger through illusions.

    Emperor as Jesus 
  • I apologize in advance for asking what might be a dumb question, but I'm curious. If the Emperor was indeed Jesus at one point, then how exactly did He unite humanity by promoting war and hate instead of peace and love? Wouldn't all the racists and terrorist groups take it the wrong way and see it as a free pass to cause chaos and anarchy? I understand He probably meant making war and hate on the alien races, but like I said, some cheeky terrorists might have twisted His words.
    • It's fanon based on very very early fluff, it doesn't have to make sense. Alternatly, he gave up on peace and love after they got him crucified.
    • Option one: Matthew 10:34 (Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword.) Option two: he changed his mind, and/or the message has been misreported, over a great many millennia. Option three: he was working on some extreme long-term plan based on logic inscrutable to mere humans. Option four: it's fannon based on material from The Lost And The Damned in the Rogue Trader era, and not all that consistent.
    • Either two possibilities I see. Option two, and GW hadn't considered all of the implications of the religion-inspired violence based on zealotry or misinterpretation being part of the Emperor's plan (or he hadn't realized that would happen). Or option four, probably the latter option four.
    • Going way back into the fluff its more a case that the Emperor was Jesus's 13th disciple, its stated that he would had manipulated those who would forever change the history of humankind, the full piece hints that the Emperor "hung out" with Jesus, Da Vinci, Einstein, Galileo, Tesla AND Edison. The whole founding of the Imperium is what happens when he rolls up his sleeves and does the job himself...
    • They never state that the Emperor was Jesus its heavily implied though that he was St Peter which actually makes sense given the attitude of the pre-modern catholic church on people who where non believers. The Emperor also didn't promote as much hate and war as later Imperials actually say he did, in fact the death to all aliens belief was actually Horus's idea not the Emperor.

    Emperor's Jerkass Behavior 
  • Why didn't the Empereor just teleport down to the world Angron was on and save him that way?
    • The Emperor is not a good person. His son defied him so he let all of his sons followers die because of it.
    • That, and it was easier to teleport Angron up. He didn't have a single shit to give about Angron's followers, so why expend extra effort trying to save them?
    • Eh, the HH series will probably whitewash this and say that Angron's friends were evil Khorne cultists. Conveniently forgetting that Chaos isn't inherently evil.
    • Uh Chaos is evil, look at all the stuff they do for "fun" these days. Angron and his friends having the butcher nails made them Khorne-bait, hence why Emps only rescued his son. Question is why Emps didn't try to remove Angron's nail.
      • It's stated in one book that removing the nails would have killed Angron and the Emperor wanted to make as much use of him as he could. Honestly, giving him a mercy kill would've been the better option given how things turned out.
    • The Emperor had already brokered peace with the local government. He wanted his Primarch but didn't want any instability on this planet nor did he give a damn about the rebels, hence he teleported Angron away and let the gladiator slaves be slaughtered.
    • A recent HH book says the Emperor made a deal with the local government: he'd take Angron away, and the world would submit to the Imperium. Angron's buddies just weren't important enough for Emps to save.
Advertisement:

    Commorragh Throne Repair Service 
  • I've read somewhere that with the Golden Throne failing, the Adeptus Mechanicum ventured to seek help from Dark Eldar. Is there any info on that? What kind of bargain they struck and if any (haha) good came out of it?
    • Nothing is really said about it, but rest assured, if it is true, the Harlequins are involved somehow and given those guys last "diplomatic" meeting with the Imperium, i.e. sprinting headfirst blindly towards the Imperial Throne without warning, it would be a damn miracle that any deal was made at all.

Space Marines

    Atheist Chaplains 
  • The Imperial Truth being pushed during the Great Crusade is a secular/rationalist/atheist doctrine that denies all gods and superstitions. So why did the Legiones Astartes have Chaplains (eg., Charmosian in Galaxy in Flames)?
    • According to the Horus Heresy Collected Visions, the Chaplain edict occurred after the Council of Nikaea banning the use of Psychic powers among the Space Marines. The edict was issued by Malcador the Sigillite in the name of the Emperor and their original purpose was to ensure that the Psyker ban was obeyed whilst maintaining morale among the rank and file.

    Religious dogmas of a Space Marine 
  • What is the Space Marine position on the Emperor's divinity? Most fluff says they view him as a very powerful human, but the Dawn of War marines definitely call him a god.
    • It presumably varies chapter-to-chapter. Most fluff where they say "Space Marines" without specifying a chapter is talking about the Ultramarines, at least nowadays.
    • It is named Codex Chapter. Ultramarines in everything except color, battle cry and special characters. According to codex, over 50% of all chapters are Codex Chapters.
    • It's pretty much ancestor-worship, judging by the Codex. He's a father figure with aspects of All-Loving Hero. The Eclessiarchy puts up with it because they're Space Marines.
    • Space Marines do worship the Emperor, as all loyal members of the Imperium do, and are in fact some of his most fanatical followers. This is because (1.) being the pinnacle of humanity, they are expected to be the most spiritually pure and dedicated of the Emperor's servants, and (2.) they are the living embodiment of his legacy. With their artificial organs they have his blood running through their veins, more or less literally, and they are his genetic "grandchildren".
    • They don't worship him as a god. The fluff is very clear on this. It's been a point of contention with the Ecclesiarchy for as long as both organisations have existed.
    • Some don't worship him as a god, even most don't worship him as a god, but there's nothing that says none of them revere him as a god.
    • Which raises an interesting and perhaps troubling question: the Astartes recruit into their ranks from the rest of humanity. Presumably the people they are recruiting have grown up worshiping the Emperor as a god since they were young children. How does that go, when the new recruits are inducted into the Chapter? How are they told to stop worshiping the Emperor? Don't any keep worshiping him in secret? How does this all work? One might expect a large percentage of new Astartes to fall to Chaos, under the circumstances.
    • They keep venerating him with a fanaticism bordering on insanity; they just think of him as an extremely powerful, extremely benevolent human psyker instead of a supernatural god. Frankly, there's not much difference when you're on the Emperor's power level.
    • LOTS of brainwashing, presumably. Massive brainwashing is done to the recruits, chemically, surgically, psychically, behaviorally, and through propaganda. One suspects that this eases over a lot of 'awkward conversations'.
    • They also simply don't have prophets on hardcore feudal and death worlds.

    How do you get into Terminator armor? 
  • Take a good look at Terminator armor. The shoulders are above the head. How exactly does one manage to fit into one?
    • Hunchbacked.
    • Good point. I'm tempted to Hand Wave it as an illusion from a design quirk (looking weird for wont of ample structure on the arms to help support the Shoulders of Doom), but you seem to be right there, I guess most depictions of the Terminators are poorly proportions.
    • The shoulder pads are up there, but the wearers' shoulders are not. The pads are just so damn big they make the Terminators appear hunchbacked - the marines within are still properly aligned. Take a look at a termie model without the pads, and it'll make more sense.
Advertisement:

    Why Smurf hate? 
  • Why is so much of the anti-Space Marine Hatedom directed specifically at the Ultramarines, as though they were the most egregious example? It seems like the Space Wolves are much worse offenders. They are one of the few chapters where the Primarch might still be alive (without being put into stasis after being mortally wounded), they have a 10000+ year old member that actually knew their Primarch and the Emperor, they are obviously mutated (serving the Imperium, who otherwise kills anyone with the slightest mutation visible), they worship pagan Gods (serving the Imperium, who otherwise kills anyone worshipping anyone other than the Emperor), and they have openly rebelled against the Imperium on multiple occasions, even attacking Inquisitors (who are known for destroying planets just for thinking of being seditious). The explanation for why the Imperium leaves the Space Wolves alone basically boils down to "the Space Wolves are too good at what they do."
    • Because the Ultramarines are the Spotlight-Stealing Squad and the Space Wolves are a fan favorite for their design aesthetic and general demeanor. Ultramarines are hated because they are bland. Hell, most of these complaints are also true of the Imperial Fists (still keep their legionary numbers, have the most relics of their primarch, recruit from Earth directly) and the Black Templars (more numerous than several of the founding legions, manage to not be bothered by the Inquisition despite their flagrant disregard for Imperial regulations on chapter size)
    • I was referring to Space Marines, not Ultramarine hatedom. Most of the complaints about the Space Marines, especially the fluff ones, are less applicable to the Ultramarines than most other major chapters.
    • Because GW likes to focus most of its advertising for newer players on the Space Marines. Specifically, you guessed it, the Ultramarines. So most of the players are given far more exposure to, and are thus more likely to blame, the Ultramarines.
    • Remember that not all mutations are anathema to the Imperium. Certain variations (like Ogryn) are tolerated. And the Space Wolves being good at what they do is a pretty good excuse. The Imperium needs all the Space Marines it can get.
    • As of Battle for the Fang, the Space Wolves have been written down as a shadow of their former glory (Fuck you Magnus, there's holding a grudge and then there's holding a GRUDGE), so calling them egregious examples of Space Marine Mary Suedom holds no water anymore.
    • Because there is a double standard the Space Wolves benefit from that other chapters do not. Fans look at their beardy aesthetic and become so enamored that they overlook the frankly poorly-written nature of their fluff (Which is not to say it was all bad, Prospero Burns was good, as was Battle of the Fang despite the idiotic climactic battle). For other factions, say, the Grey Knights, besting a Daemon Primarch is considered HERESY of the worst kind. For the Space Wolves? Ragnar using Magnus' eye as target practice or like four Space Wolves beating the shit out of the cyclops is SUPER BADASS.
    • Well, the reason is they are not even remotely as Mary Sue as Ultramarines. If you missed the point, Battle of the Fang was a disaster. They lost entire Great Company, Chapter Master and their dreams to ever have descendant Chapters are eternally shattered. It wasn't even Pyrrhic Victory, it was a draw at best. The four Space Marines did not beat the shit out of Cyclope. They ambushed him when he was heading to exit after completing his objective. And Magnus brutally slaughtered all but one of them despite being barely able to cling to the material plane. Then a Chapter Master appeared and got himself killed. The appearance of the Chapter Master was an obvious clue that Space Wolves fleet had just broke orbit and the place is going to be overrun with shit-tons of Wolf Priests. Also, Magnus was exhausted since he spent somewhat around half a year in the material space without there any Warp Rift/Storm to support him. Mind you that freaking Angron started bitching and refused to continue his assault on Armageddon just because the Warp Storm above the planet weakened. Yes, Magnus wasn't fully manifested like Angron did, but it still took a lot out of him to simply appear in a place like Fang.
    • People hate the Ultramarines because of how they were developed. In the older editions the Ultras were very much a Jack-of-All-Stats, with no real strengths or glaring weaknesses. Then, the much loved Matt Ward wrote some codices in which they became the best Space Marines with no weak points at all, and other Chapters look up to them with some sort of "cool big brother" type of imitation. Basically they went from bland to Badass with the only changes being how other people act around them. As for the Space Wolves, they have threatened to rebel and kill inquisitors in the past. Of course, said inquisitors were about to condemn entire battalions of Imperial Guardsmen to labor camps for merely having seen Chaos (because they were fighting them). So the fans like the Space Wolves for not being oppressive space Nazis and taking a stand against those who were.

    Space Marines != Angsty Teenagers 
  • Why are Space Marines so...immature? Only a few of them act somewhat like regular adults, and compared with the Imperial Guard, they seem to be a bunch of psychotic, super powered teenagers, even if they lived several times longer than most humans.
    • Examples of Space Marines who act like this?
    • Pretty much all Space Marines less than a few hundred years old. Must be something about the fact they have limited emotions.
    • I don't think you understand the meaning of the word "examples."
    • Players with similar disposition is their target demographic. Must be since their Codex was written by Matt Ward.
    • What do you mean by immature they have massive character flaws but so does everyone else in the setting?
    • Space Marines are designed to be like the tragic heroes of old and they share common flaws, like arrogance and overconfidence, which I think you mean by saying they act like teenagers.
    • Space Marines are inducted into their training at a very young age. It's brutal, it's deadly and it leads to emotionally-retarded warriors whose only goal in life is to die fighting the enemies of humanity. I think the fact they act like teenagers is a reflection of the fact that they essentially don't get to grow up and understand things with an adult's perspective.
    • As above, depending on the chapter, they have virtually no childhood. They spend most of their adolescence receiving intense brain washing. And they virtually never interact people outside of their own brain-washed by design cult.
    • ... Okay, while most Space Marines are psychopathic, axe crazy jerk asses (from our perspective, anyway) by no means can they be considered 'teenagers'. If anything, they act every inch like the Knightly Orders of the Middle-Ages. Crossed with Saracen soldiers from the same era. Hell, marines like Dante, Logan Grimnar and Azrael are examples of wise warriors. Of course, as per their mission statements, they all have to be berserk lunatics.
    • A quick note about this and other 'they act like ancient heroes' answers: Many of the Middle Ages heroes, and more of the Classical Era heroes that they are modeled after were teenagers. Life was (as they say) nasty, brutish, and short (emphasis here on the short part, though this is a gross over-simplification, of course).
    • I must have a massively different opinion on what is considered immature but in general I think of fart jokes, constantly talking about sex, and swearing more than a sailor with tourrettes who stubbed his toe as immature, Space Marines in general act more like mythical greek heroes with all the hubris and flaws that implies but also with all of the good things that implies too. Also what led you to expect them to act like regular adults? these are people recruited when they where 10-12 after most likely having spent much of their lives as child soldiers who are then taken away from their previous life implanted with many new organs possibly while fully awake and then forced to fight in conditions so bad that even by the standards of warhammer are hellish and you expect them to act like non-emotionally stunted PTSD sufferers in fact they take this remarkably well considering the circumstances.
    • What the dude above me said.
    • Space Marine Neophytes tend to be ten or so years old when chosen to go through the training from Hell AND massive physical alterations. So basically what we have here are over-sized adolescent males who don't get a chance to even grow up before the weight of the universe is literally dumped on their pauldrons. When you combine that with the dysfunctional nature of the donators of their gene-seed it's a wonder any of them are sane, let alone mature.
    • There was an awfully tearjerking in-universe quote over the matter in the Storm of Iron novel.
    • Okay, here's a concert example then since no one has actually one. The Dark Angels during the Horus Heresy are a great example. Lion el Johnson. Discovered that Caliban was warp tainted and that the Great Beasts of the planet were somehow made to keep all sentient life away from the most tainted areas of the planet. The population had taint, but it was quickly stomped out by the beasts or by the local population. He discovered this AFTER they already killed all of the beasts (oops). This led to the Lion hiding this from his legion and every other member who found out the secret quickly decided that the Lion had betrayed them despite their whole order being built on secrets within secrets the only the highest ranked knew of. One member, Zahariel, discovered that he had been mind wiped by the Emperor after he got caught up in the stupidest plan ever to try to assassinate Big-E. He couldn't understand why the Emperor didn't trust him. Keep in mind that Zahariel wasn't even a battle brother yet and he was butt hurt because Big-E mind wiped him of an assassination attempt that he wasn't on board with when the easiest solution would have been to blow the kid's head off and call it a day. The Dark Angels are feel horrorifically entitled to be in the know about everything and yet murder anyone who see behind their own curtain. It's like their trying to head their porn under the bed, but instead become homicide if they see so much as a nip on the cover of one of their magazines while simultaneously ripping everyone else's beds away to collect THEIR porn. Basically the Dark Angels are spoiled brats with a unhealthy amount of paranoia and violence heaped on top.

    Non-Grey Knights Brother-Captain? 
  • Not to nitpick one of my favorite games or anything, but I'm curious: how did Gabriel Angelos earn the rank of Brother-Captain if he's not a Grey Knight?
    • Brother-Captain is a standard Codex Astartes rank for any Space Marine Company Commander. Its not exclusive to the Grey Knights in any way.
    • I don't know, according to this website, it is.
    • And according to that website it isn't. "Within a chapter the Captain is sometimes referred to as "Brother-Captain"".
    • To put it another way, Captain is the official rank but the Space Marines have a major Blood Brothers complex. "Brother-Librarian" probably isn't a rank either, but you'll get Marines using it.
    • Less Blood Brothers, more Warrior Monk. The Codex chapters are religious orders, much like the various Catholic military orders- and what do monks call each other? There are exceptions, of course- the Space Wolves are more likely to be going for Blood Brother than Monk (although they pretty much think they're gods).
    • The Grey Knights are their own chapter, not a rank. Angelos was a Blood Raven, so he couldn't be a Grey Knight. As for why he was called Brother-Captain, the marines tend to prefix most titles with "Brother" when talking to each other.
    • Brother-Captain is just a derivitive of battle brother. Other such title are brother, brother sergeant, and brother chaplain.
    • The ranks of Grey Knights are "Grey Knight", "Justicar", "Brother-Captain", and "Grand Master"; note the fact that they are definitely not a Codex Chapter. Other Chapters have the procession from rank-to-rank set by the Codex (even if a few odd ones, like Dark Angels or Blood Angesl, deviate a bit). "Captain" is a rank, as is "Sergeant". For the Codex Chapters, they use ranks formally, and most other people will append "Brother" to the rank as a mark of respect and solidarity. "For are we not all Marines? Are we not the Emperor's loyal servants, even unto death?"

Inquistion and Sisters of Battle

    Old radicals, young zealots 
  • Why is that the older Inquisitors are radical and the younger ones are traditional instead of the other way around?
    • Because Inquisitors only get old if they don't stay traditional.
    • It was a deliberate choice by the writers, to subvert the expected pattern. They start out as indoctrinated fanatics, then become radical once they've had some practical experience.
    • Pretty much. A young Inquisitor comes out of training all fired-up and fanatical, full of zeal and purpose and indoctrination. But as he survives and fights on and experiences what the galaxy is really like, his beliefs get pushed and stretched, and he has to resort to more and more difficult means until ultimately he starts becoming a radical. Give Eisenhorn a read if you want to watch an Inquisitor's shift over time.
    • Commodus Voke subverts this slightly, as he was older than Eisenhorn when they met and he was so puritanical that he considered Eisenhorn a radical (this was still relatively early in Eisenhorn's career when he considered himself a puritan). In general, however, inquisitors do become more radical as time goes on, not only because they feel it is justified, but as they grow more experienced (and more arrogant) they believe (sometimes correctly, sometimes not) that they are powerful enough to control the powers they wield. Eisenhorn frequently used that justification when he did something shady. "Sure this is bad, but I can keep it under control."
    • So where does Mordecai Toth fall? Is he radical or traditional?
    • I'd say ignorant.
    • We don't really get enough information in Dawn of War to make a secure Radical/Puritan guess, and even less information when it comes to guessing which sect he's from... so all we can safely say is that he isn't an ultra-psycho Radical with daemonhost flunkies and a pitch black sword that drinks light. At the same time, we can guess that he's not an ultra-fanatical Puritan, based on his suggestion to work with the Eldar late in the game.
    • It's generally assumed, well I know from a few tidbits that Quixos in particular, Recongregators and Istaavians in general all turn Radical when they have an epiphany that the greatest threat to the Imperium from within is the Imperium itself. Their differences lie between whether it is better to start over, or simply shake things up and manipulate circumstances to better the system and replace the corruption, both however agree that nuclear weapons are a fun tool for these ends..
    • They are not. It is just justification that was created by radical Inquisitor. Pretty much to justify his fall as something inevitable.

    Inquisitorial logic 
  • In the first Dawn of War the Inquisitor tells that the Eldar imprisoned a daemon inside the Maledictum stone and have been guarding it since for centuries. And then he designates the goal of Blood Ravens to destroy the thing. Uhm, didn't it occur to him that if destroying the Maledictum was a good idea, Eldar would've done it long ago?
    • Did you miss the fact that said Inquisitor is an idiot?
    • Let's not forget, of course, that they're Eldar. The Inquisitor probably doesn't trust their motives and for fairly good reasons. And the Eldar, of course, could have helped if they simply let you in on the plan from the start instead of attacking you. For all we know, he anticipated the Eldar intended to use Maledictum as a weapon against humanity.
    • So, he anticipated the Eldar, the ancient and vehement enemies of Chaos, to suddenly use an artifact of Chaos that they'd spent the last millenia NOT using? I tend to the "Inquisitor is an idiot" explanation.
    • Actual reason? HE was the Daemon in disguise, manipulating events so he can bust out of it.
      • You guys are using outside knowledge to justify your reasoning. A lot of inquisitors have no idea that the Dark Eldar are completely separate from the Craft world Eldar. And the Dark Eldar are REALLY freaking spiky like Chaos raiders. Most inquisitors find seeking knowledge about the Eldar to be inconsequential to murdering them. There's no indication to Toth that the Eldar are the "grand enemy of chaos". All he knows is that that they are asshole pointy eared space elves. And he's the one to suggest they work together, so clearly the guy isn't a moron, just uninformed and it's sure as fuck just as much the Eldar's fault for NOT informing the humans because it "involves matters beyond your comprehension". Fucking space elves...
    • Something throws this into more confusion is that in the ending the daemon says that destroying the stone before enough sacrifices were made might have killed it or at least kept in from getting out. Seeing as the daemon seemed to really like gloating over how it wouldn't have been freed if Angelos didn't "provide it with sacrifices," it doesn't seem like it was lying, so if that was true, why didn't the Eldar destroy it, or put it on a planet that wasn't an altar to Khorne, or keep it somewhere where the Chaos marines wouldn't look for it?
    • Well, obviously, Demon was lying. Complete destruction of the Demon is nigh impossible task, usually they are just banished to the warp. And the Eldar are not known as the creatures of logic.

Imperial Guard

    Why is IG a Red Shirt army? 
  • Why does the Imperial Guard get screwed so often? They use far more advanced tactics and strategems than the ever-so-hyped Space Marines, namely COVER and ARTILLERY, their vehicles can chew through xenos like nobody's business, they have immensely greater numbers than SPESS MEHRENS, so from what I've seen, they have quality and quantity, yet somehow they're portrayed as bumbling, clueless retards who get by on numbers! Not to mention, they actually act like human beings and not one-note bloodthirsty jerkasses, so they're actually somewhat likeable, so really, why?
    • The IG seem pretty competent in Ciaphas Cain. Also,the Space marines use artillery (whirlwinds) and cover (in the novels atleast). Most of the enemies just have foot soldiers that are much more powerful than the average guardsman.
    • Most enemies the Imperial Guard fights fight through fast Hit And Run attacks that the Imperial Guard isn't expecting and which in general attack weak targets. The Guard are very good at fighting enemies who they know are coming and plan for such as Orks there just so happen to be a lot of pirates and raiders in the Imperium.
    • The Guard are fighting enemies that are just that damned powerful. Some have much better technology and gear (Space Marines, Tau, Eldar) some are more maneuverable (Tau, Eldar, Dark Eldar) some use sheer numbers (Tyranids, Orks) some are just vastly more intelligent (Eldar, Tyranids) and some are MWAHAHAHAHAHAHAKILLMAINMBURNKILLMAIMBURNBWAHAHAHAHAHA!
    • They use far more advanced tactics and strategems than the ever-so-hyped Space Marines, namely COVER and ARTILLERY Space Marines do use cover when faced by weapons that can actually damage them. And what do you think the freaking Whirlwind is for?
    • The Administorum, knowing how easy it is for people to fall to Chaos, eliberately give them bad armor and weapons so they won't have a significant advantage if/when they do?
    • The Guard isn't screwed all that often, but if they aren't, there's no drama. What's more interesting, a fight between Guard and rebels where the rebels are obliterated without casualties, or one against orks where it goes down to the wire?

    All fine on the Cadian front... but why? 
  • Ok, Cadia has a population of 250,000. They are mostly self-sufficient. Their conscription rate and birth rate are the same. All fine for the most part; it's possible to be in the military and not ever hold a gun. But after all they've been through, and after everything that's happend to them (you know, being invaded constantly, having their troops sent all across the galaxy, being the poster boys for the Guard, and having most of their planet taken over by Chaos), how are they not suffering? They seem to be doing dandy, despite their main arms supplier go off the radar, and having casualty rates just as high as any other force in the Imperium. It makes no sense, especially if Games Workshop models all their Guard units after them. What the hell is Cadia doing fighting Orks in Segmentum Ultima while Chaos is at their doorstep? And don't say that many divisions copy the Cadian design, because it's still completely possible to field a Cadian force against an Ork army. I mean, it's possible to field any army against any army, the way the 40k world is set up, but still!
    • You need to tack about four more zeros on that number listing and you'll have an accurate assessment of Cadia's population.
    • Cadian units tend to take far lower casualties than other Guard units because of their extreme training and discipline. Also, Guard regiments have a tendency to "collect" other units that have suffered extreme casualties to add to their ranks, kind of how the Ghosts picked up troops from Vervunhive and the Belladon 81st. The Munitorium will often merge battered units into new ones as well. Coupled together, it makes sense that the Cadians would be able to deploy hundreds of regiments across the galaxy; after a few decades of service, a Guard regiment will likely have a fairly reduced number of genetically-descended troops from the homeworld itself, simply because they'll be picking up new troops in whatever theater they're in. Every few decades a Guard regiment will rotate back to their homeworld to be replinished with fresh troops as well.
    • Also, much of the "current" events are spread around the 41st and the early 42nd millennia. It's pretty reasonable to assume that any given match-up takes place within that time frame, considering that most players really won't really consider any lore behind the fight. If they do, they're likely a fluff nut or taking part in a more formal event like a campaign. However, some match-ups that can't really be explained away like this do happen; and it can be reasoned that the Imperium keeps numerous regiments an increasing distance from their home world, redeploying them from convenience or where their talents can be best appropriated. Like why you would have Cadians fight the distant Tau or Hive Fleet Kraken.
    • According to the Lexicanum Cadia has a ON PLANET (as in not counting soldiers deployed offworld) population of two hundred and fifty million, somewhat less than the total population of the United states. However, 71% of Cadia's population is in the military, a percentage that virtually none of the nations in the real world have ever, ever come close to reaching. This would mean that Cadia has 177,500,000 (one hundred seventy seven and a half million, or thirty or so million more soldiers than Russia has people) soldiers deployed at any one time which would easily allow for thousands of regiments to send wherever. One can reasonably guess that you would have about that many cadians deployed offworld, so again Cadians can easily be pretty much everywhere.
    • Different sources state that population of Cadia is between 250 millions and a billion people. And now that Cadia has fallen... well, there's not very many at all.
    • Not everyone in a Cadia-pattern uniform is from Cadia.
    • Everyone in a Cadia-pattern uniform is probably from Cadia, Cadian Regiments are very strict about serving non-Cadians as they can literally say that their kids can strip a lasgun faster, and that their grannies are a better shot "She won the Regimental Marksman trophy last year!". Another note is that all Guard regiments take their uniforms seriously, especially the very militant worlds like Mordia, Praetoria, Cadia and Valhalla. The tabletop models is only because GW realized the Cadians look the most normal and everyone was pretty much sick of the Rambo Catachans.
    • No, overall, somebody in a Cadian-pattern uniform is more likely to not be from Cadia. Some Guard regiments take their uniforms seriously—Mordians take their uniforms very seriously—but a lot of planets out there just say, "We have access to Cadian patterns, we're not interested in trying to invent our own stuff, and Cadian pattern is known to work really well. Screw it, we'll use Cadian pattern." A lot of regiments do that.
    • Cadian uniform is standard for generic Imperial Guard army. The fluff describes it by saying that half of the Imperium worlds take Cadian regiments as an example when creating their own Imperial Guard regiments and/or PDF.
    • How is three (3) Black Crusade during the period of 7,000 years are considered "constant invasion". Yes, we are constantly reading about Siege of Cadia, glorious battle of the 13 Black Crusade from third edition, but in-universe speaking it is still the same campaign that had lasted less then a year.
    • There are probably smaller invasions all the times. Probes, attrition battles, Khorne wanting a few skulls... for Cadia, this is too routine a matter to mention.

Other Policies

    Send in the robots 
  • Why doesn't the Imperium make greater usage of Combat Servitors and Robots (The mindless kind that were in the older editions and still pop up from time to time, not the Men of Iron) in concert with Imperial Guard, Imperial Navy, Adeptes Astartes, Adeptes Arbites, and Inquisitional forces? Yes there was a little tidbit about Combat Robots winning a battle for a Space Marine chapter and ended up becoming honorary members of the Chapter, but outside of that Combat Servitors and Robots don't seem to appear outside of the Skitarii even though the Adeptus Mechanicus has a presence in virtually every other branch of the Imperial Government and a Techmarine/Tech Enginseer could probably requisition at least a squadron of Combat Servitors or Robots each. And yes I am aware that the AM may not exactly consider Robots to be expendable regardless of how little time and resources went into making one due to their religious view of machinery (though they do seem to regard Combat Servitors as almost completely expendeble.)
    • Combat servitors are more expensive and specialized technology than Imperial Guard regiments. With the Guard, you can crank out ten thousand lasguns and sundry low-tech support weapons, hand them to ten thousand men with a month's training in drill and fire, and load them up for a fraction of the cost. Combat-capable sevitors are expensive, human lives are cheap; that's how its always been with the Imperium. Guardsmen are also more adaptable, being actually sapient, so that's a plus.
    • Not to mention that servitors are...faulty. They do the work that an advanced robot could do, but they tend to "mindlock" when not constantly supervised. That is, they tend to freeze up like an old computer, and it can last indefinitely and happen repeatedly (there's even a game mechanic for that). Since they can't be trusted to work alone, they are often worked as teams under a techpriest, or sometimes used as a part of an entourage. More autonomous models probably utilize pre-programmed work routines, not unlike a computer program.
    • As for robots, it's exactly because of incidents like the Iron Men that the Imperium has developed a deep distrust of A.I. They still use pretty simple A.I.s in vehicles and some machinery, that they call the Machine Spirits; but they tend to be simplistic. Any Machine Spirit advanced enough to replace, rather than aid a man in its operation would draw attention from the Inquisition.

    Hit So Hard The Calendar... didn't feel it 
  • Why does the Imperium continue to use the Gregorian calendar? It's based on the death of Christ, who is obviously no longer worshiped in the 41st millennium.
    • Inertia, probably. Calendars rarely change, and when they do, it is usually a minor adjustment based on new scientific observations (Indeed, in 40K the calendar has changed cosmetically, and days are broken down differently). Once a culture establishes a calendar, it usually stays unless the culture falls or is assimilated. And since everyone in space seems to be white Europeans, they use a variation on the Western European calendar. And who can prove that the Emperor wasn't Jesus?
    • And in Dark Imperium it is revealed, through Roboute Guilliman's research during 100.M42, that there are multiple, conflicting versions of the calendar used throughout the Imperium. This, combined with the millennia of wars, destruction of historical documents and knowledge (deliberate or otherwise), and scientific historical research and methods replaced with dogma and religious fundamentalism, means that it is nigh-impossible to know the true year in the Imperium, which could be anything from the early 41st millennium to the late 42nd millennium.
    • Many non-Christian countries in our world use the Gregorian calendar because it's convenient and internationally-accepted. It has nothing to do with religion. Even the Soviet Union used it even though they are state atheists.

    Imperium and LGBT 
  • What are the Imperium's views on gay people. There seems to be a general lack of gay people out of the TRILLIONS of people in the galaxy. As far as I know there are exactly two cannon confirmed gay people.
    • Point the first: By your own admission, there are trillions of people in the Imperium of Man, let alone other races. We could not feasibly see even a small percentage of that number and still retain an interesting viewpoint. Point the second: Given the Imperium's methods, people may well be being bred and conditioned to be heterosexual, as this creates more workers and, therefore, weaponry and vehicles for the Imperium to use. Point the third: It's a totalitarian, brutal, militantly conservative-religious empire. How do you think they're going to deal with people who don't fit the religious perception of normalcy? Hell, they've probably declared any sexuality apart from straight (or asexual) to be examples of heretical behaviour.
    • No. The Imperium does not have a policy on homosexuality. Individual worlds may, but the Imperium as a whole doesn't. In the Cain books, the titular Commissar even notes that there is a lesbian couple in his regiment but it is nothing remarkable.
    • This troper concurs, in addition, since cloning is also used to make soldiers, or at least it is in the case of the Death Korps of Krieg, as well as to create servitors, the Imperium isn't totally dependent on birth rate for new troops.
    • Plus, look at Creed and Jarren Kell—you saying there's nothing there?
    • Let's be totally clear here - the Imperium isn't a homogenous culture. Every world is going to have its own rules and customs, some of them even democratically elect their governor. Provided they worship the Emperor in some way, the Imperium wouldn't bother to look any further.
    • Well, almost all lore material is focused exclusively on combat situations (where it is irrelevant), there isn't a huge amount of discussion on heterosexual relationships for that matter, there has been a homosexual relation depicted before and the Commissar (who would be the one to enforce anti-homosexual policies) didn't care in the least, as mentioned before this is not a homogenous culture, and almost any depiction of a homosexual character would be worse than just ignoring it due to the combat focus of everything written (basically they would have to be Camp Gay or Token Minority, which are more likely to be worse than better).
    • We also need to remember that there's no real reason for the Imperium to care. So much of the Imperial cult is based around being anti-Chaos, anti-alien, and keeping the Emperor alive that nothing else really matters. Keep in mind that Slaanesh is the god of excess, not sex or even somewhat socially unaccepted sex, so homosexual relationships wouldn't feed him/her.
    • I'm pretty sure any kind of sex or indulgence feeds Slaanesh.
    • And any kind of hate and bloodshed feeds Khorne, every single hope, dream, and ambition feeds Tzeentch, and the universal principle of entropy feeds Nurgle. The Imperium by and large realises that its impossible to get rid of everything that empowers chaos is impossible which is why the Redemptionists who are so fanatical in fighting chaos that they kill almost everything that isnt a redemptionist.
    • Homosexual relationships are mentioned, albeit briefly in the Eisenhorn/Ravenor books, Gaunt's Ghosts books and the Ciaphas Cain books. Don't ask me which, it's been a long time since I've read them.
    • Carl Thonius in Ravenor is implied to be either gay or asexual. In one of the Ciaphas Cain stories there are two female troopers that are explicitly stated to be a lesbian couple (and the story averts Bury Your Gays). As long as you worship the Emperor, fight/work/die in His name, and aren't trafficking with xenos or cultists, the Imperium is probably fine with whatever you and your lover do in bed. That being said, the Imperium is a big place and individual planetary governments may differ.

     Can the Imperium Terraform planets? 
  • In most of the fiction, the Imperium can settle on worlds because it just happens that All Planets Are Earthlike or it turns out to be an Elder Maiden world but there doesn't seem to any references to the Imperium making planets more suitable for human-life. Liveable planets keep getting wiped out by Tyranids, exterminatus, etc, etc so does the Imperium have any capability to terraform a planet to a usable state or is that to much against the bleakness of the setting?
    • The Imperium can terraform planets. Titan, for example, is survivable to unarmored humans (though not very hospitable).

If a Space Marines Chapter becomes Chaos Space Marines what happens to the Successor Chapters if they have any?All kill? More Chaplain?Are they even told?

Top

How well does it match the trope?

Example of:

/

Media sources:

/

Report