Custodes; when did they become Super-Marines?


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Post Fri Feb 16, 2018 2:36 am

Re: Custodes; when did they become Super-Marines?

Rogue Trader Custodes. Good stats, since one should only expect the best to guard the Emperor. Also resulted in this parody years later, since only their helmets bore any resemblance to the suits GW would later endow them with.

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As for depictions of Space Marines, it's quite a bit interesting how the fiction evolved here, seen from something of an author's perspective. Rogue Trader Space Marines were indeed not ideal heroes of epic proportions. They were fallible men, some competent, some brave, some craven, many bastards, and all psychotic killers. Especially upon the release of the Rogue Trader rule book, before the fluff had thickened through White Dwarf articles, Space Marines were bastard knights in space, in a setting that was Warhammer Fantasy in space complete with space Dwarfs and space skeletons and Minotaurs with machine-gun horns; plus a whole slew of sci-fi elements looted from Dune (and much more), then cobbled together to a great smörgåsbord science fantasy setting of wild creativity that deserved a long life, and claimed it by popularity. It was indeed a joke, and 40k has always remained a tongue-in-cheek joke through the years, but it has at times been such a carefully well-crafted joke in areas, that many readers wanted it to be more than just a joke, at least having the numbers add up in a sensible way.

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As has already been pointed out, these beaky Marines were gritty, hard men, and they died in droves when push came to shove. The original vision of Space Marines was more down-to-earth. Still elite humans with advanced wargear and enhancement mumbo-jumbo, but nowhere near where the background sailed away with them starting already in 1st edition. Although the grimy side of recruitment hasn't ever left the Space Marines, the depiction has changed. Originally, lots of Space Marines were press-ganged through recruitment hunts in hellish hive city crime warrens, and their training and hypno-therapy treatment explicitly served to make them into psychotic killers. Recruiting from criminals and warlike tribes is still in the background, though nowadays it more often seems like child soldiers than adults, and the induction into a chapter makes their past null and void and instead turn them into righteous warrior monks, unless you're a Space Wolf and happens to be allowed some fun.

The spiritual descendants of the Rogue Trader Space Marines are the Terran Marines of Starcraft, minus beaks. If you read up on it, you'll soon discover that the popular RTS game from 1998 originally started out as a 40k-intended project, but the very early break between Games Workshop and Blizzard happened primarily over the code monkeys wanting their Marines as brain-panned criminals. All gritty, smoking cigarettes, boozing and sporting graffiti on their armour plates, while Games Workshop instead wanted a laconic warrior monk image. Starcraft development started in the mid 90s, and the imagery of the brash beakies must still have been vivid in the minds of some Blizzard artists, here by Chris Metzen:

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Games Workshop, on the other hand, quickly formed a clearer vision of what they wanted Space Marines to be, as so often happens as a new setting takes shape. They went full throttle on cybernetically enhanced geno-modified warrior monk demigod hyperbole by 2nd edition, and has stayed true to this course ever since. In hindsight, it was probably the right choice given the heroic imagery's popularity. GW has turned out a lot of good stuff through the decades and though quite uninterested in power armour I'll willingly admit that they've done some things very well with their Space Marines. I personally prefer the gritty Beakies, who appeal more to me, just like the scummy and expendable Terran Marines do. But the time was right for statuesque demigod heroes, as GW's astounding Marine sales testify to.

The elaborately over-blown Space Marine background started to chafe all the more with the models' size and rules as time went by. Artwork also started to chafe in due time, informed by the background and depicting giants in power armour. This all led to a spree of hobbyist truescale Marine conversions about 10 years ago, which has at last been answered by Games Workshop with actual truescale Marine miniatures. The recent Primaris Marine models and rules are the logical conclusion to the path trodden by Games Workshop ever since 2nd edition. They wrote their Marines into larger than life demigods, and now the miniature line and statline has caught up to the superduper fluff:

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So there you have it! The legacy of Rogue Trader's grittier and arguably more believable Marine corps has lived on for 30 years in rules and model sizes which got all the more out of sync with artwork and background, until Games Workshop pulled over and made the full transformation just recently.

If one wants to, one could view the depictions of heroic Astartes from 2nd edition on as the Imperial propaganda version of how life among the Space Marines is like, while the Rogue Trader version is how life in the Space Marine forces really is like: Arresting punks for scrawling graffiti, and dying in the thousands on the frontline.

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Last edited by Karak Norn Clansman on Fri Feb 16, 2018 12:02 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Post Fri Feb 16, 2018 11:15 am

Re: Custodes; when did they become Super-Marines?

That was an amazing post, Karak Norn Clansman, and this is a perfect way to finish it:

Karak Norn Clansman wrote:If one wants to, one could view the depictions of heroic Astartes from 2nd edition on as the Imperial propaganda version of how life among the Space Marines is like, while the Rogue Trader version is how life in the Space Marine forces really is like: Arresting punks for scrawling graffiti, and dying in the thousands on the frontline.
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Post Fri Feb 16, 2018 1:50 pm

Re: Custodes; when did they become Super-Marines?

A tremendous post, KNC.

No denying the heroic marines are a tremendous commercial success.

I suspect almost all of us here think the original version was the greater artistic success.


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Post Sat Feb 17, 2018 4:54 pm

Re: Custodes; when did they become Super-Marines?

Top post there Karak.

The Blizzard/GW Starcraft concept split is fascinating.

Mentioning Dune, reminds me of the Sardaukar - which both the Custodes and Space Marines seem to take influence from.
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Post Mon Feb 26, 2018 10:10 pm

Re: Custodes; when did they become Super-Marines?

Karak Norn Clansman wrote:The spiritual descendants of the Rogue Trader Space Marines are the Terran Marines of Starcraft, minus beaks. If you read up on it, you'll soon discover that the popular RTS game from 1998 originally started out as a 40k-intended project, but the very early break between Games Workshop and Blizzard happened primarily over the code monkeys wanting their Marines as brain-panned criminals. All gritty, smoking cigarettes, boozing and sporting graffiti on their armour plates, while Games Workshop instead wanted a laconic warrior monk image. Starcraft development started in the mid 90s, and the imagery of the brash beakies must still have been vivid in the minds of some Blizzard artists, here by Chris Metzen:

Image

Whoa, so someone else got inspired to create NotRogueTrader and it was a huge success D: ?

Karak Norn Clansman wrote:Games Workshop, on the other hand, quickly formed a clearer vision of what they wanted Space Marines to be, as so often happens as a new setting takes shape. They went full throttle on cybernetically enhanced geno-modified warrior monk demigod hyperbole by 2nd edition, and has stayed true to this course ever since. In hindsight, it was probably the right choice given the heroic imagery's popularity. GW has turned out a lot of good stuff through the decades and though quite uninterested in power armour I'll willingly admit that they've done some things very well with their Space Marines. I personally prefer the gritty Beakies, who appeal more to me, just like the scummy and expendable Terran Marines do. But the time was right for statuesque demigod heroes, as GW's astounding Marine sales testify to.

Monster marines were introduced by WD98 which is 5 months after the release. For vast majority of the Rogue Trader period, they were canon.

By the way, the oldest possible age of beginning the implantation,

Also, I would argue that Rees marines and C100 marines were already monster marines.
I think Rees marines are a very interesting combination of monstrously heroic and gritty.

I think that the only thing in modern fluff that comes anywhere close to them is the most brutal chapters like Flesh Tearers, Night Lords, Carharodons and World Eaters.

Karak Norn Clansman wrote:So there you have it! The legacy of Rogue Trader's grittier and arguably more believable Marine corps has lived on for 30 years in rules and model sizes which got all the more out of sync with artwork and background, until Games Workshop pulled over and made the full transformation just recently.

Super elite units being used as starborne troopers is much more believable than transporting cannon fodder between the stars.
Which by the way makes modern imperial guard incredibly stupid.

Karak Norn Clansman wrote:If one wants to, one could view the depictions of heroic Astartes from 2nd edition on as the Imperial propaganda version of how life among the Space Marines is like, while the Rogue Trader version is how life in the Space Marine forces really is like: Arresting punks for scrawling graffiti, and dying in the thousands on the frontline.

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So? Paratroopers are elite troops and they were still patrolling Irish streets and arresting protesters. Counterinsurgency and occupation will often see elite units doing stuff that would be done by cops at home.

There are two reasons why Power-Armoured Marines were arresting huge muscular armed men who were probably slavers or mercenaries:
1. At that point Space Marines were the mobile force of the Imperium, so they were the ones that were sent into the Eye of Terror to restore worlds to Imperial rule.
2. On Logan's World, they'd face orks and slavers who have huge robots, jetbikes, etc. so they were hardly just "arresting punks".

Rogue Trader couldn't have Space Marines dying by the thousands on the frontline because 1000 marine chapters were already established.
It's not even known if back then there was transport capability to transport masses of troops between worlds.

The only reason why Crimson Fists got beaten so badly is that they accidentally blown up their own fortress monastery which gave the orks a massive advantage in numbers. Otherwise attacking their world would be suicidal for orks. It's all in the fluff.
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Post Fri Jun 22, 2018 7:29 pm

Re: Custodes; when did they become Super-Marines?

I had an idea today. Why not just take the super-Marine idea and run with it?

Basically, why have normal Imperial Guard at all? It doesn't make sense to bother with transporting lightly armoured soldiers between the stars or even planets. The idea is absurd, which is why Space Marines were the only mobile force in the first place!

Yeah, guard is cool but as an elite faction within PDF. As in not moving off planet.

So, when we have PDF and super PDF, let's make Space Marines and Super Space Marines!

One problem is that these 1000 man chapters would get ground down very quickly if they'd be a sole fighting force.

So, why not make it like this:
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These guys:
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Are Auxilia Space Marines.

There is lots of them, operating in legions of up to 5k Marines.

These are the main interplanetary and sometimes interstellar fighting force of the Imperium. A highly developed star system may have multiple Auxilia Space Marine Legions, one containing a Hive World even tens to hundreds.

They are recruited from adult gangers and barbarian warriors and are brainwashed and pumped with steroids.

They are represented by plastic beakies.

These guys:
Image

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Are Imperial Space Marines.

They are the monsters recruited as children and submitted to intense selection and multiple implantations described in The Origin of Legiones Astartes and resemble the later fluff Space Marines.

They exist in extremely limited amount of 1000 chapters/legions of up to 1000 Marines.

They have much higher stats - for example:
MWSBSSTWIALdIntClWPPV
Imperial Space Marine65554252888840

Their Power Armour has at least 3+ save. Perhaps even 2+ like terminator armour but without 5+ invulnerable save.
(yeah, that's about 60 points per trooper XD )

They are represented by C100 marines. The basic C100 marine weapon is interpreted as a Heavy Bolter with close combat attachment.

Imperial Space Marine Chapters usually have an Auxilia Legion or two under their command bearing the same name and livery.


So, basically, typical areas of operation would be:
Imperial Army - country.
Imperial Guard - planet.

Auxilary Space Marines - planetary system/interstellar
Imperial Space Marines - planetary system/interstellar

Space Marines form both interplanetary and interstellar forces.
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Post Mon Jun 25, 2018 1:28 am

Re: Custodes; when did they become Super-Marines?

Warhammer 30k's Solar Auxilia, the precursor to the Imperial Guard, are roughly the equivalent of Auxiliary Space Marines.

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Post Mon Jun 25, 2018 9:13 am

Re: Custodes; when did they become Super-Marines?

AranaszarSzuur wrote:I had an idea today. Why not just take the super-Marine idea and run with it?


Yeah mate, not like anyone suggested you do that, months ago :D
Zhu Bajie wrote: If you want to stat up an entire Chapter of Marines as Major Heroes, just go ahead and do that, pay the points and play them as you like, no worries.


Your Supa-marinez is good stuff tho'! Like them alot. Make a good RT version of the Primus marines. You could use the standard RT Powered Armour and Flak to get the 3+ save. The only quibble I might have is that IIRC the C100 marines are a bit smaller than the RTB01 marines. Sold mine years ago and replaced them with laser-cut hexagons.
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