Space Marine (novel) analysis and discussion thread

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Space Marine (novel) analysis and discussion thread

Post by Connor MacLeod » 2009-04-15 05:08am

Yes, I'm doign that novel. Tough. I want to.

This book was finished recently, and transcribed recently. I've decided to cover this next because a.) its a nigh impossible to find book, so I dont worry about spoiling it for many b.) Chronologically it seems to come after Inquisitor in many respects (story wise at least) and c.) cuz I want to.

Of all of Ian Watson's 40K books, I think I like this one the most. Its odd in some ways (and I will be sharing some of the oddness with you, like the Imperial Fist preoccupation with defecation and pain - sometimes at once) but largely an enjoyable book. Ian Watson as a writer leaves me with rather mixed feelings. His good points largely are that he writes some very engaging characters, and that over the books (particularily Lexandro, and the Squat Grimm, both my favorites) develop well over the four novels of his I read. He also writes settings rahter well, and diverse, and interesting. His writing is very detail/sense oriented, and it shows in his books.

There are two flaws I have with his writing. One is minor, one is quite major. The minor one is his style of writing - its very.. poetic in a way. That in and of itself is not bad, but it can be kind of jarring considering the 40K galaxy is (especially when it descends into grrimdark.. mainly the Inquisition WAr novels here.) But one thing becomes quite obvious - Ian Watson LOVES alliteration. He infects all his writing with a ton of it. PAges and pages of it. That too is jarring, and tends to get annoyingly repetitive after awhile, but is largely forgivable. The "Big" flaw of his writing is that - to put it bluntly - he sucks at plotting. If he keeps the stories broadly, loosley defined plotwise (the way he did in Spacec Marine, for example) they tend to work. Space Marine had no real big plot other than "the lives of three Imperial Fist recruits" - it was a story about characters. So was Draco. There were traces of this in Harlequin as well, and that made ti passable. But taking Inquisition War as a whole.. there is no real plot. No coherent plot at any rate. It seems like the series forgets what its about halfway through then turns abruptly into "Jaq Draco's wild ride into madness." - which frankly is bloody disappointing because the first book (and the first half of the second novel) hinted at the potential of what could be a decent plot (if they'd kept up with the Hydra/Illuminati thing)

Overall, alot of his stories tend to read more like "a guide to the 40K galaxy", especially "Inquisitor" and "spacec Marine" but even the second one too - they're basically showing various facets/aspects of the 40K and in that regard they tend to excel. In other respects (as a broad, ,overall storyline - eg the "Inquisition War") they fail. If you read them, enjoy them as the largely self-contained stories as they are, but don't hope for any long-term coherency, because there really isn't much.

Of course, I don't write these things as literary critiques, but rather technical analysis, and in this regard at least Ian Watson rarely fails. So, onto the analysis.

Anyhow, my rant is done.

Pre-book stuff (collective, un-numbered)
"The development of the Navigator gene allows human pilots to make longer and faster 'jumps' through warp space than was previously thought possible.
Some novels/fluff have speculated as to whether Navigators arose spontaneously or were engineered. This (and earlier) fluff specified that they were engineered. Which frankly is the solution I prefer.

This also implies that its possible to navigate the warp without Navigators, its just less precise, ,slower, and shorter ranged (all of which we knew.)
His physical life maintained by artificial means, and his psychic by human sacrifice, the Emperor begins the long task of reconquering human space. With the creation by the Emperor of the psychic beacon known as the AStronomican, the foundations are laid for the building of the Imperium, as it to be known in the 41st millenium. Fuelled by the dying spirits of those psykers who would otherwise fall prey to the demons of the warp, and directed by the Emperor's indomitable will, the Astronomican soon becomes an invaluable aid to Navigators throughout the galaxy. Interstellar travel becomes even easier and quicker..
The astronomnican is useful, but not crucial, as a tool to FTL travel (it increases speed and range and ease o fuse).

This may be retconned, considering the source, but I would submit that this all does make sense in the larger context. We know navigators can navigate without the astronomican (its just far more reliable with than without) and we know ships can navigate (one way or another) without Navigators. Presumably having one or the other (we know psykers other than Navigators can 'see' the astronomican, so they arguably could benefit from it, and Navigators can navigate by other means, such as astropathic signals and such) can speed things up compared to travel without either (Inter-sector traffic/trade, or computer assisted)

The "best" travel, the one we probably see the most often (and using the fstest form of travelling) liekly uses both. This also means that the vast majority of travel in the Imperium will be both more variable but also vastly more slower.

Page 2
In the hive cities which stud that deathly world as warts crust the facec of a plague corpse...

..

..the Imperial Fists Space Marines, who maintain a fortreess monastary in the Palatine hive on Necromunda.

..

Approach closer, and those same pimples become huge termite mounds. Closer yet, and the clustered spires of each hive soar form the wastes of ash to pierce the highest clouds. Now many are almost too vast to comprehend as mere cities built by human hands. It seems as though habitable mountains have grown up precipitously and cancerously from out of the ravaged landscape in deifane of gravity the leveller. Unto its myriad inhabitants each of these hives is a separate, vertical world.
Ah, Necromunda. My favorite Hive World (if I can be said to have one.. at least they don't glory in eating dead people much.) Implications of the size, scale and number of hives (multi km tall, multi km in diameter, etc.)

We dont know how many Hives for sure, but even assuming 1 per 1000 square km. ASsuming roughly earthlike, there's going to be 5e8, which will come out to hundreds of thousands of cities easily. SAying that Necromunda (and likely all the "old" Hive Worlds) have thousands of hives total is not unreasonable - its substantiated by the Necromunda game stuff as well.

The Fists also have a fortress monastery on Necromunda, (one of their recruiting grounds) though we dont know hwo many folk are there.


Page 4
In the heart of Traizor, as in every other hive on Necromunda, a vast tube of plasteel plunged all the way down through the crust of the planet. Kilometeres wide, with a wall hundreds of metres thick, this conduit for the world's inner heat fed the various power stations that were built within that wall from the factory levels upwards: heat into energy. This enormous hollow thermal spike also served as anchor and root for the hive.

..

To slide or tumble or simply fall free, down, down, tens of kilometres down into the inferno.
Extending through the crust suggests tens or huundreds of km in length (Depth), and being kilometers thick (with "hundreds of meters" thick" walls.) Its quite possible the walls of the Hive are equally thick (to within an Orde rof Magnitude)

Page 5
The scumniks, who had been lying in wait for prey, used stubguns, grenades - then at close quarters, a chainsword and knives. At first the techs had retaliated with bolt guns and heavy stub weapons. Arches and debrris intercepted manyy explosive bolts and bullets; and ammunition was soon exhausted on both sides. Pressed closer, the techs resorted to their own blades, some chill steel, others humming with hot power.

...

Into this lethal melee flew the Lordly Phantasms, flourishing their laspistols and power stilettos...

...

Tonight they didn't wish to kill; they intended to capture. So they used their superior laser beams mostly to sting and scorch and put surplus scumniks and techs to flight.
A rather nice cross-section of the kinds of weaponry available on Necromunda, yet again. And again these are "not particularily wealthy" gangers.

Note rather interestingly that lasguns are cited as being "superior" to stub weaponry and bolt weapons. They also indicate variable output, since they simply use their beams to "sting and scorch"

Page 6
He swivelled and fired his laspistol towards the tattoed boy in case that one thought to exploit the distraction, burning his target's hand so that the scum kid dropped his trophy.
low powered beam "burnt" the hand. We dont know how low powered or how badly burnt (but later conjecture that its pretty bad) "sorching" implies searing (or that it blackens/cauterizes) which implies a fairly energetic output, even if just superficial. A male human hand (say 15 cm long from wrist to tip, 10 cm across, 2-3 cm average thickness) would mass around 300-350 grams, and if we assume roughly 1/10th of that was burnt (just a couple millimeters) would be 10-15 kilojoules to "sear" one side - 20-30 KJ for both. - which works as a rough order of magnitude.

We dont know duration but it would have to be pretty quick given the small size of a hand and the hectic nature of a close-in combat (single shots really, probably fraction of a second) Higher outputs would be at least an order of magnitude grgeater (logically)

Oh, and "searing" is going to be larggely similar to cauterization (you're boiling off the water content in the tissue so you can burn the flesh noticably, so the energy outputs are going to be roughly approximate. I went to a more conservative just a bit past boiling point, for this calc.. say 150 C - 400 kj per kg. Using higher figures could easily double the calc.)

Page 9

- Traizor hive is a fusion of 3 smaller hives into one, and each has its own garrison of "Planetary Defence Force." used for policing and maintaining order. This is all pretty bog standard early-edition 40K (and Necromunda) fluff though. But it does indicate that there are a myraid of PDFS on the planet (thousands?)

Note this also multiplies the possible number of "hives" that exist as above, although in reality that's not going to mak emuch difference since in practice a large conglomeration of "hives" could make up one super-hive and count as that.

Page 9
Now their commander must dragoon several tech or merchant gangs from the Oberon spire into the ranks [Of the PDF].

Which might prove to be no bad fortune for those recruits...

By such a route they might escape frmo the niches of their birth, and gain access to something better- to better weapons, possibly to some real food different from synthcake and synthgruel.

..

Yet the Defence Force offered a chance - admittedly small - of subsequently entering the Imperial Guard and leaving the claustrophobic hives of Necromunda entirely for other worlds.
The Defence Forces/Guard are seen to have better weaponry than what the Underhive of Necromunda faces (which says alot considering all the gear they can get ahold of.) and "real food". (still no eating people). This will really tell you something about the quality of Necromundan forces.

Its also notable that "gangs" don't neccesarily mean what we think they do. "gang" seems largely to refer to any grgoup of people who share some sort of collective identity and band together for mutual self protection and self interest. As we see in the Necromunda stuff, some gangs are actually quite sophisticated. (And some aren't).


Page 10

- prospective gangers being inducted into the PDF are stripped of their weapons. Probably a good idea to prevent fighting and maintain discipline, ,but it may also suggest that the stuff they carry is usually regarded as total shit.


Page 10
Wary troopers directed stun guns at the medley of bodies in case of disorder...
Stun guns. Don't want to injure the prospective cannon fodder.

Page 11
A Sergeant with a crudely reconstructed pink blob of a nose - obviously bitten off at some stage of his professional or previous career - sat at a damascened bronze data-desk stained green with cupreous patina.
Prior to cybernetics becoming all the rage in 40K (I bet he would have gotten an augmetic nose nowadays) - but it probably could suggest plastic surgery (or pseudo-organic equivalents we find about later) aren't all that uncommon.

Page 12
A high-backed iron chair caged with copper filigree and equipped with adjustable iron helmet, as if crushing the occupant's skull, stood vacant. A tech murmured incantations as he stroked the wires running from this to a bone-framed screen where runes and formulae flicekred;
Machine used in the recruitment/screening process. Suitably gothic looking, of course.

Page 13
"Well, pretty boy, Trazior's a little hive, as hives go. Three million, four. The pop of all Necromunda's hives is uncountable. We don't need any spare high-hab boys, not even as bait for nomads in the wastes."
[/quote]

"uncountable" numbers, presumably far above the hundreds of billions known for other hives. OR else all hive numbers are just "Best guess" estimates. The latter seems likely given the nature of all hives, its only likely that the smallest hives or the hives of "new" worlds can actualyl claim anything like a reasonably accurate census.

estimates derived frrom the necromunda material suggested hundreds/thbousands of Hives averaging billions for the largge hives. The numbers would go into the trillions, at LEAST.

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Re: Space Marine (novel) analysis and discussion thread

Post by andrewgpaul » 2009-04-15 03:07pm

Connor MacLeod wrote:The "Big" flaw of his writing is that - to put it bluntly - he sucks at plotting.
I wonder, does that carry over into his non-GW novels?
Page 2
In the hive cities which stud that deathly world as warts crust the facec of a plague corpse...

..

..the Imperial Fists Space Marines, who maintain a fortreess monastary in the Palatine hive on Necromunda.

..

Approach closer, and those same pimples become huge termite mounds. Closer yet, and the clustered spires of each hive soar form the wastes of ash to pierce the highest clouds. Now many are almost too vast to comprehend as mere cities built by human hands. It seems as though habitable mountains have grown up precipitously and cancerously from out of the ravaged landscape in deifane of gravity the leveller. Unto its myriad inhabitants each of these hives is a separate, vertical world.
Ah, Necromunda. My favorite Hive World (if I can be said to have one.. at least they don't glory in eating dead people much.) Implications of the size, scale and number of hives (multi km tall, multi km in diameter, etc.)

We dont know how many Hives for sure, but even assuming 1 per 1000 square km. ASsuming roughly earthlike, there's going to be 5e8, which will come out to hundreds of thousands of cities easily. SAying that Necromunda (and likely all the "old" Hive Worlds) have thousands of hives total is not unreasonable - its substantiated by the Necromunda game stuff as well.

The Fists also have a fortress monastery on Necromunda, (one of their recruiting grounds) though we dont know hwo many folk are there.
From the Confrontation article in WD 130,
The hives are grouped into clusters comprising up to a dozen or so individual hives ...

Each hive covers an approximately circular area some fifty to a hundred miles in diameter. The tops of the spires can rise to a dozen or more miles above the ground surface...

There are approximately a thousand hive clusters on Necromunda.
So, about 10-20 thousand individual hives.

Oh, and on page 13, that sergeant doesn't know what he's talking about:
An attempted census of Trazior Hive four thousand years ago revealed an estimated population of a billion in the upper habitation levels alone...
As an example of the growth rate, Necromunda was settled 15,000 years "ago" - i.e M25.
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Re: Space Marine (novel) analysis and discussion thread

Post by NecronLord » 2009-04-15 06:02pm

andrewgpaul wrote:I wonder, does that carry over into his non-GW novels?
I have found them to be simultaneously baffling and awesome. Of his multi-part series, The Book of the River (and its two sequels) is the only one I've read, and it ties up very neatly indeed. Then it has an ending that requires some extra thought to get.

I've another duology sitting on my bookshelf, and when I get time to start those ominously large hardbacks, I'll do so. However, that's a recasting of the Kalevala (a Sweedish classical/mythological epic) and so he can't really claim responsibility for it's plot anyway.

He's said that he actually wanted to produce a fourth Inquisition War book - and I expect it would have resolved some of the hanging elements (though personally, I liked chaos child; it was nice to see an Inquisitor 'fall' simply out of love, rather than zOMFG Chaos, as in most other examples) of the plot.

As for 'better weapons in the guard' it's worth remembering that Necromunda's guard are said to be elite - and the art (and concept art) of them has them fully-sealed flak/carapace armoured, with vox equipment on every trooper. No surprise, given what its gangers can produce, weapons-wise, of course they're well equipped.

Goddamn I wish they'd make plastic Necromunda Guard.
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Re: Space Marine (novel) analysis and discussion thread

Post by Connor MacLeod » 2009-04-15 06:15pm

NecronLord wrote: He's said that he actually wanted to produce a fourth Inquisition War book - and I expect it would have resolved some of the hanging elements
I think the way he scripted things out in the first few books, and the way some elements of Chaos Child hint, that would have worked better. And Watson would have had mroe time to wrap things up, rather than the "rushed" feeling of Chaos Child. Hell, j ust making the novel bigger would have helped immensely if he were more concise.
(though personally, I liked chaos child; it was nice to see an Inquisitor 'fall' simply out of love, rather than zOMFG Chaos, as in most other examples) of the plot.
I would have liked that too, and it might have worked had he planned things out better. Chaos Child, Unfortunately, reads like it was a composite of "original intent" and "hasty revision"; the way the story is as written is abrupt and beyond messed up. Its like Anakin's fall to the Dark Side really in terms of bizarre. It just really ends up being "all over the place" without anything connecting really well in the latter half, and I've always been left wit hthe Impression that Jaq was whiny, repressed, a little gullible, and a little crazy.

The other thing there then he needed to do was to be more concise. I realized he was trying to give depictions of how the Imperium and the 40K galaxy in its various facets (no Orks, though) but he sometimes wastes FAR too much verbiage to do that (and alof of what happened in Chaos Child felt repetitive and extraneous.)

The plus side for that is that the interactions between GRimm and Lexandro were fabulous. I'm happy they at least survived.
As for 'better weapons in the guard' it's worth remembering that Necromunda's guard are said to be elite - and the art (and concept art) of them has them fully-sealed flak/carapace armoured, with vox equipment on every trooper. No surprise, given what its gangers can produce, weapons-wise, of course they're well equipped.
Well yeah, tha'ts the impression I got, I'm no ttrying to portray them as "bog standard" since there's still tons of variation. But they serve as a fabulous example of the high end (Especially when you get the cross section of kinds of gangers - Imagine Goliaths in the Guard.) And they aren't really "gangerS" in our sense of the word, they're more like orrganized mob or back woods militia type "gang".

I'll probably want to cover this some more in detail when I cover more of Necromunda (I'm, in the mood to angle towards that) but I'd also guess that what is in Necromunda probably covers alot of the "Older" hives (The ones in the hundreds of billions to trillions in numbers, really.)

Out of curiosity, would you have the concept art/artwork on hand? Or where could I find it (especially if its online?) I'd like to see it.

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Re: Space Marine (novel) analysis and discussion thread

Post by NecronLord » 2009-04-15 06:52pm

I understand that the guardsman on P26 of Codex Imperialis is meant to be one. I'd have to scan it, but I think you have that book anyway.

I understand there's a helmet-less, cut-down version as actual concept art in 'The Gothic and the Eldrich' without the trenchcoat, and a bit more of a ganger look. But that book is super rare, and super-overpriced.
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Re: Space Marine (novel) analysis and discussion thread

Post by andrewgpaul » 2009-04-16 06:13pm

NecronLord wrote:I understand that the guardsman on P26 of Codex Imperialis is meant to be one.
Is that one of the books included in 2nd edition 40K?
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Re: Space Marine (novel) analysis and discussion thread

Post by Karrick » 2009-04-16 09:00pm

I'd been trying to find a copy of Space Marine for a long time, and it only recently hit me that my school's library has an interlibrary loan service. The copy I got came all the way across the pond from Dublin. 8) So while it didn't cost me the ridiculous amount it usually seems to go for, there was exorbitant tuition involved. I was going to start a thread myself (this was a month or two ago), but Connor could do a lot better with the analysis, as he's already showing.

I read and enjoyed Inquisitor and Harlequin, but I've been kind of afraid that Chaos Child isn't going to tie much (if anything) together in the end. Is it worth picking up anyway?

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Re: Space Marine (novel) analysis and discussion thread

Post by Connor MacLeod » 2009-04-17 02:05am

NecronLord wrote:I understand that the guardsman on P26 of Codex Imperialis is meant to be one. I'd have to scan it, but I think you have that book anyway.
Yep. The damn thing looks like a Vostroyan, Or the Harakoni Warhawks or the Fornux Lix Firedrakes I remember from the 3rd edition codex (or some of the other guardsmen types outlined there.)

(For those who don't quite understand, they've got full face helmets including visors and rebreather masks, full body armour that looks t be carapace or something like that (at least partial carapace) and a heavy greatcoat. And carrying rather large, long barreled lasguns with sickle clips (looking like AK 47's really, esp in terms of barrel arrangement.)

They also have some sort tof large backpack which looks like it might have some sort of sensor/comm gear or something. Hell in some ways they look like they're wearing powered armor of some kind.

Of course, in the Necromunda novel Junktion, we saw the Necromunda equivalent of PDF deployed, and the buggers had carapace and hellguns.
I understand there's a helmet-less, cut-down version as actual concept art in 'The Gothic and the Eldrich' without the trenchcoat, and a bit more of a ganger look. But that book is super rare, and super-overpriced.
No worries. Looking on Lexicanum, I found this image, which is pretty darn freaky. Looks like he might be wearing either a mono sight or infra sight, given the descriptions in the Necromunda book of such devices. And looks like he's wearing hard armor too.
andrewgpaul wrote:
NecronLord wrote:I understand that the guardsman on P26 of Codex Imperialis is meant to be one.
Is that one of the books included in 2nd edition 40K?
Yup. There's the rules, which are basically the rules. There's the Codex Imperialis, which is largely the background fluff material, and there's the Wargear book, which is all the neat equipment and tidbits in second edition (though its largely just a redone and expanded Battle Manual.)

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Re: Space Marine (novel) analysis and discussion thread

Post by andrewgpaul » 2009-04-17 03:21am

andrewgpaul wrote:
NecronLord wrote:I understand that the guardsman on P26 of Codex Imperialis is meant to be one.
Is that one of the books included in 2nd edition 40K?

Oh yes, that pic. Was that confirmed as a Necromundan guardsman, then? Makes sense, I suppose, since he's using the same style of lasgun as the Escher (and more recent Orlock and Goliath) gangers.
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Re: Space Marine (novel) analysis and discussion thread

Post by white_rabbit » 2009-04-17 08:45am

(looking like AK 47's really, esp in terms of barrel arrangement.)
Thats cos it basically is :D

A certain guy basically said "the lasgun is the AK-47 of 4ok" to Jes Goodwin, so he promptly drew a guy with an AK pattern, mk 47 lasrifle.
I understand there's a helmet-less, cut-down version as actual concept art in 'The Gothic and the Eldrich' without the trenchcoat, and a bit more of a ganger look. But that book is super rare, and super-overpriced.
That concept has a helmet as well, its just done as an option. Frankly, the entire two page spread is basically " greatcoat guard model concept", I don't think I'm too far off in thinking that if they made a plastic range from those concepts, it'd sell oodles.

I think we were very close to having the guy on pg 26 be the IG standard, based on The Gothic and the Eldritch stuff.
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Re: Space Marine (novel) analysis and discussion thread

Post by Cykeisme » 2009-04-18 08:56pm

Just a quick question.. how big are Goliath gangers?

How would one of them fare in an arm-wrestling match with your average (unarmoured) Astartes?
Are they all the way up to inhumanly monstrous Ogryn levels in size?
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Re: Space Marine (novel) analysis and discussion thread

Post by white_rabbit » 2009-04-18 09:13pm

Just a quick question.. how big are Goliath gangers?
Some have been described as the size of space marines out of armour.
How would one of them fare in an arm-wrestling match with your average (unarmoured) Astartes?
They'd get their arm broken off in my opinion, we see an inhumanly tall and muscled guy (must have been 8-9ft) fight a marine scout in Bloodquest, and Lysander (the scout) breaks his fucking neck. Goliaths bulk up on drugs and such, they don't have the reinforced bones, improved blood etc.
Are they all the way up to inhumanly monstrous Ogryn levels in size?
Not at all.
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Re: Space Marine (novel) analysis and discussion thread

Post by Falkenhayn » 2009-04-18 10:44pm

In Wolfblade, a vat grown hive ganger tripping on combat drugs, the same size as Ragnar Blackmane in armor, tries to break Ragnar's neck with the old Instanbul Twist. Ragnar didn't care, as his vertebrae laughed off the attack, and he then dealt with drugged up hive ganger in a speedy and painful way.
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Re: Space Marine (novel) analysis and discussion thread

Post by Connor MacLeod » 2009-04-19 06:36pm

I guess it depends on the specific Goliath and the specific marine. In armour a Marine is almost certainly more powerful, but the real advantage of Space Marines isn't that they're neccesarily stronger than everyone else. They tend to have a "little bit of eveything" and then some. They're insanely strong, coupled with insanely fast, insane toughness and endurance, insane mental capabilities (think/react mentally far faster) as well as packing insane amounts of information and training into them. And when you add rapid healing, armour like bones (plus carapace), supremely enhanced senses, resistancee to disease and poison, virtually immune to pain and fear and so on... etc. etc. etc. They're pretty much "all around better". You might have troopers who are superior in some ways (Stronger, or faster, or maybe even smarter), but only Space MArines are the ultimate generalists.

Hell, we know some humans can be nearly as fast as Space Marines (Ragnar pre-transformation was IIRC from Space Wolf) and some humans have near or at tenth-second reaction times, which isn't far off from what I've figured on Space Marines having (unarmoured, at least.) And we know of some worlds that recruit into the guard that have people who are at least partly ogryn (Kanak Skull Takers) and those IIRC are more than a match for Orks. I'd guess Goliaths are gonna be just as tough as Orks more or less too.

In an unarmed marine vs an unarmed Goliath fight though, I'd still bet on the Marine not becuase he's neccearily smarter, ,but because he's fast and strong AND tough, and he is better trained and more disciplined to boot.

(as far as Wolfblade goes, I recall they were in power armour when they got into the tavern brawl. And that thy had Haegar, which is more than enough to offset any odds in your favor considering he can rip tables up and use them as bludgeons)

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Re: Space Marine (novel) analysis and discussion thread

Post by Connor MacLeod » 2009-04-30 02:12pm

Next Space Marine update... enjoy


Page 13 - Lexanrdo is tested in the iorn chair.
its implied, but never stated, that the "testing" is strictly to show for recruits for the Astartes (there's one there when LEx is getting tested), but it may be simply routine proecdure for all Guard applicants regardless.

Page 14
- the chair tests (on Lex) musculature potential, drug use readings (breakdown of specific drugs and amounts), Psychosis level, psychic profile, ocular reflex, Intelligence, ballistic skill (snicker), and pain tolerance. The Ballistic skill slip in made me chuckle.

Page 15

- Lex is totally ignorant of how Space Marines are made. This does not seem to be common knowledge, at least on Necromunda. Then again, alot of things taken for granted throughout the Imperium are unknown on Necromunda's lower levels, like the Machine Spirit/Omnissiah religion of the AdMech. Underhivers do quite well without it and even regard it as more of a s uperstition.

Page 18
In the land-train carburettor factory where they liveda long with some ninety tech kin...

..

In their factory, so essential to the prosperity of Trazior - to its trade and supply routes forever preyed upon by viscious nomads....

...

...and treasured their stockpile of bolt guns and heavy stub weapons with whic they must defend their domicile and livelihood against families not allied to theirs...
land train. Wonder if they got them from the squats or if they made them themselves. Also the hereditary bolt guns. And the Necromunda population doesnt include the desert nomads or raiders. You have to admit in 40K those humans really can live anywhere.

Page 19
However, Trazior also formed part of a mega-complex of hives desnely crowding a poisoned terrain, interlinked by transport tubes supported on pylons or suspended from cables.
Hives ( at least some of the complexes) seem to be denser than others. Also note the interconnected transport tubes. Apparnetly such hives do allow for some inter-hive commerce.

Page 20
-Yeremi, another Space Marine (and guard- one fo the tech gangs swept up) recruit, is tested for "Somatic resilience", I love Ian Watson's ability to overcomplicate things verbally like that.

Page 22
- Another ganger (a scumnik named Biff) is tested and has his psychosis level and "Hubbard-Nietzsche intelligence quotient tested. More of Watson being clever/grimdark I suppose. Or maybe its just a joke. I dont know much about psychology or philosohpy of tha tnature.

Page 25
The Imperial Fists recruited principally from two hive worlds, the ice planet of Inwit where cave-cities honeycombed the top ten kilometres of crust world-wide below the armour of three klicks of cie - and Necromunda, the poisoned desert. Not Many recruits were usually needed; at fulls trength a Marine chapter numbered a thousand able warriors, who might well live for three hundred years and more, and the loss of any one of whom was a tragedy.

..

So the Imperial Fists scrutinised transcripts of trials and criminal records involving youngsters, hunting for special blend of ingenuity, daring, ,will-power - quite often suitable candidates had already been executed by the time the Fists learned of their existence...
Inwit is interesting because the hives extend 10km into the crust, with 3 km of ice on top of it. This tells you just how relentless an Exterminatus attack would have to be to wipe out a target like a hive world.. You'd literally have to melt the crust in order to get it (1000x minimum enerrgy increase over the old "consevative" BDZ calcs.. well into the e27-e28 joule range, nevermind the kilometers of ice.)

Page 26
for bodily modifications must commence as soon after the onset of adolescence as could be. A recruit of eighteen years old was unthinkable; he would become a puissant man but only a runt among his superhuman peers.
There seems to be an inverse relationship between age and development with regards to Space Marine implants. Its not, strictly speaking, impossible to implant older recruits (indeed it has been done in emergencies), it just reduces less quality (And as we know it is much more dangerous.) Presumably the reasonf or this is one of development - an adolescent has many more years of "grrowth" left in him for the implants to take advnatage of compared to an eighteen year old. Nonetheless, an eighteen year old would still be more powerful than a normal person.

Page 26
"If any of you attacks your brother from now on, if not ordered to do so by a s uperior, that attacker will be enslaved and used for chrurgical experiments in our laboratories for as long as he lives."
The Fists, ,at least (back then) did experimentation on their own genetic natures and researches. Which goes to show you that ANY potential recruit is useful, ,in one way or another.

Page 27

- one such disobedient trainee was injected with an experimental drug that apparently suppresed pain but not tactile sensations. He had his hand dipped in acid and needed to achieve a task before his hand dissolved away... Again, note the reference to experimentation. I wonder if this pisses off the AdMech any.

Page 27
"Can mind and will move the bare bones now that the muscles are gone? This is the subject's third attempt. He has already undergone two restorations witha new prototype pseudoflesh."
First mention of "pseudoflesh" and that this is a recent development. I suppose in modern context we would regard it as a highly sophisticated sort of augmetic (something that is still essentially artifficial/prosthetic but just of much higher quality.) Why the Fists at this time went for asthetics over simplicify/function is mystery to me (in universe that is. Out o funiverse I know its simply a result of the changing canon over the years.)

Page 27

- the Fists maintain a "jump ship" near Necromunda for transferring prospective recruits.

Page 29
Alternatively, home-base could be a vast artificial satellite, a moon of plasteel in orbit around any of those. Devotional vids had hinted at such possibilities.

...

As Lexandro looked through a quatrefoil window in the observatorium of the corvette, what he saw ahead, moving seemingly slowly across the void-gulf far from any suns, more isolated than loneliness itself, was a great glittering leviathan that seemed carved intricately of ice, with fins and ribbed wings and soaring towers whose pinnacles were linked by flying buttresses.

A long courtyard jutted forth like a notched broadsword. Black armoured shrimps nuzzling there were cruisers and troopships which might well dwarf the corvette that Lexandro and the other recruits were sailing in.
Two things of note:

- first, and of seconday note, the "jump ship" aforemntioned is a "Corvette". I'm assuming thius may mean a destrtoyer sized vessel but it may mean a smaller ship - at this time we know warp capable ships could get quite small.

- Secondly and more importantly, the referencee to the existence of other artificial planetoids besides the Fists Monastery. If one were in a retconning mood, and if one recalled those masturbattory super-warships scaled (questionably) off of a comic, one might conclude that such ships were akin to these "planetoids." Note that it doesnt mean they aren't lost tech or anything.

Page 30
All of the cadets had been force-taught correct Imperial Gothic under hypnocasques.
Hooked on Phonics 40,000.

Page 30 - Lex has an "oculous" that optically maginfies the image in space. Just some fancy computerized magnifyting glass, but interesting technology nonetheless.

PAge 30
"Why, I warrant that fortress is huger than the entire heat sink of good old Trazior."
Remember that that heat sink was kilometers across, and extended well into the mantle of the planet (tens or hundreds of kilometers down). At some time in its past the Imperium (again) seems to have had the ability to build those kinds of huge constructs. How many they have left, ,we dont know.

Page 31
"And he'll tell you that each of us would-be Marines is one in a million - one in a billion - except for he who sets himself above the rest of his brothers;"
Ratio of marines to humanity, setting the total population between trillions and quadrillions. Realistically its more towards the other end.

Page 32
Now that the corvette was in direct radio contact with home-base, the ship's astropath was free to join this final service of thanksgiving. The Necromundans glancing curiously at that blind, ,fey figure of a man who was as alabastine as the idol of the primarch - his flesh almost translucent - yet who could speak with his mind from star to star, and could even report directly to the Emperor should a sufficiently momentous situation arise.
Use of radio, which may or may not be the modern "vox" of 40K (that seems to depend on the source and author and level of insanity you adapt.)

The interesting tidbit is about the Astropath supposedly being able to report directly to the Emperor if something big should happen. Not that that is surprising in the least, given that an Astropath's ability to do the Tarot and the soul binding should indicate some sort of definite linkage like that.

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Re: Space Marine (novel) analysis and discussion thread

Post by Connor MacLeod » 2009-05-11 03:25am

More of the novel... the process of turning these folks into scouts at least.... Enjoy

Page 40
The task-adapted Technomats, whose original personalities had been erased and replaced with
electrografted data and blithe, benign personae, did , and could. (Take advantage of sleep.) So did the servitors who remained fully human. others of those supplied to the chapter by the Adeptus Mechanicus on Mars were automata - programmed drones. Still others were specialised cyborgs, part-machine, who could never lie down on a bunk.
Technomats. I'm inclined to consider them "pre-servitors", or perhaps a particular kind of servitor. Its not like we havent been intorduced to many many kinds now. Of course, all of the above are really just a kind of cyborg anyhow.

Page 40
In their own refectories they ate a ceramic-reinforced, drug-laden booster diet in silence...
Page 68
"A marine is worth ten ordinary soldiers, Valence." Tundrish quickly continued. "He is worrth a hundred workaday mortals. That was the meaning of our lesson today. Let us be worthy of that lesson, and not flinch at deaths which are needful to protect a thousand billion other mortals. For we may seem to be many here, but we are few. There are a million human worlds, untold millions of alien planets- and only a million Marines amongst all our Chapters."
The ratios are nothign knew, but it does indicate that the quality of a "person" can affect the numbers we hear about. Trained military soldiers are a 10:1 ratio, ordinary people are 100:1 (although ordinary in what context is still vague, since it could refer to "ordinary for a civilized worlds, agri world, hive world, feral world, or whatever.)

"A thousand billion" other mortals, and a million human worlds, giving implied scale to the Imperium, although whether the population figures are precise numbers or not you can guess yourself.

Page 73
The ultimate implant remained; and one day Lexandro was opened up surgically-superficially and for the final time to insert the sheets of black tissue beneath his skin.

Within hours while he tiched and writhed, the tissue was beginning to expand within him, hardedning externally, ,invading his nervous system with internal tendrils.

It would be many more months till the carapace matured into full symbiotic harmony with his body -
implantation of the Black Carapace and the recovery/synch time for it to become fully effective. Also the "hardening" implies is protective qualities.

Page 78 - the Fists drink alcohol just as the Space Wolves do, and the effects are detoxed also.



For the improvement of their bone structure and hormones, ,I imagine.

Page 40
The Necromundan neophytes became very familiar with the operating altars and biomonitoring and chemical assay machines of the Apothecarion - with the mantis-like laser scalpels, the stasis tureens cradling the precious new organs, the examinator devicee towerign like a brass-banded armadillo, its tapering snout scanning the innards of the body, and the soporificator insturment resembling some giant spider that stung metacurare into the nerves;
The tech stuff the medics have for use with their surgeries and such. Interestingly enough, it closely resembles (big shock) the stuff used by the renegade Assassin director in Harlequin.

Page 42
"Through observation and study, Brother, rather than through ecstatic intuition. Imperial Fists are dedicated to fastidious and meticulous detail, by the grace of Dorn - detail in military tactics, and in personal conduct too.

...

"-why we addopted the Junker model of behaviour."

..

"Yes, the ancient Prussian Code."

..

"named after Prusse, on old Earth."
A bit on (older) Fist doctrine and philosohpy and whatnot. Has noit yet been directly contradicted, I think. I havent really checekd out the Index Astartes entry on the Fists to be sure. So there may be a contradiction.

Also I was too lazy to look up shit like "Junker Model" or how the Prussian Code influenced the Fists, sincee I largely regarded it just as Watson being clever (and as I recall alot of "old Earth" history is fragmentary at best anyhow)

Page 43
In one of the firing ranges attached to the foundries, Brother Artisans - who had once been hive-dwellers, too, before their transfiguration- introduced the new Necromundans to military bolters, flamers, plasma guns, melta guns, laser weapons. The Brothers demonstrated power axes as well as heavier weapons which the neophytes as yet lacked the physique to wield unaided unless those weapons were equipped iwth suspensors. Nor could the cadets yet don the power armour necessary to heft such bulk.
Fist weapons training. Its inteesting to note that they do seem to have some sort of training in laser weaponry, which is perhaps one aspect of these novels I rather like. Despit ethe game mechanics angle of las-weapons, their advantages would still be of use to the Astartes alongside a bolter. Bravo to Watson for doing that.

Page 44 - Scrimshawing the bones of former Fists is an activity that is practiced by all the Fists.

Page 45
"Your new organs and glands have only one ultimate source - namely the gene-seed of the godly Rogal Dorn enshrined from generation to generation within the temples of our bodies. From those seeds we culture the superhuman glands and organs that shall make you MArines. Before you receive your carapace, the Adepts of the Apothecarion will implant the two Progenoid glands which will, during the next half-decade and decade, soak up the pattenr of your Imperial Fists metabolism. Harvested from you, these glands will enable our Adepts to culture further organs to kindle further Brothers in future.

..

The carapace required almsot a year to become fully symbiotic with the body...
The progenoids and the carapace in detail. Note that in here its implied that they do usually "harvest" the gene-seed prior to the souts becoming Marines, at least if I remember in the novel correctly they did.

Page 46
"In extremis we can obtain new progenoids slowly through test-slaves. Yet be not rash. An Imperial Fist thinks and plans his every deed meticulously, even in the crucible of combat when our spilt blood hardens like cinnibar, thanks be to Larramans' Organ. Indeed, let that be your precept: The hot blood gushes forth, yet instantly the Marine is firma s stone in his intellectus - aye and spry as quicksilver which can flood through a maze of branching routes in a tirce, illuiminating all possibilities!"
More on Fist philsophy, more of Watson adding "-us" suffixes to words, and reference to harvesting progenoids from other sources, albeit slower. Its not sure how slower it is, or if this is the primary reason they don't do it.

Page 47
"Sir, an Imperial Fist may become obsessed with conquering pain by force of will. This is a good quality in that we will fight on despite terrible injuries, Sir. Yet if subconsciously we invite such injuries-"

"Aye,. such heedlessness- such invitation to injury, as if to a friendly playmate- can imperil our battle planning, risking loss of personnel and materiel. We must be aware of that tendency, even when we exploit it. For we are not berserkers! On the contrary, we Fists are exemplary [planners, fascinated by the minutest detail."
The "flaw" of the Fists seems to be that they're c loset sadomasochists, although this isnt a tenet they want to encourage in Marines (despite Lexandro's attitudes - he seems to be a bit unusual in that regard.)

Page 47 - the scrimshawing seems to be an extension of their ordrer's doctrines.. the "courtesy" and "Artistry" they exmplify. I do have to admit, I like the addition of the scrimshawing as a facet of the Fists simply because it makes them more than a one dimensinoal psychopath with a chainsaw.

Page 51 - Hazing rituals of the newer recruits by older cadets is considered an acceeptable (even informally) sanctioned part of the training. (evidently helping to strengthen the recrits as well as burning off frustration/stresses the older cadets might build up. OR something.)

Page 57
At the same time a stringent course in hypnotherapy commenced in the Apothecarion. Without this, the Node would remain inert. The enchantments of the Mesmer Adepts, accomplished by incantation and hypno-helmet, served another vital purpose too. As ever more exotic organs and glands entered into a cadet's body, dripping and squeezing their juices and secretions into his system, so the cadet became liable to wild emotional fluctuations. Homicidal rage at abhumans. Pain-freaking agolangnia. Crazy Bliss. Umweltschmertz. Void maina. Hypnotherapy helped steer him through these squalls towards the final harmony that he should achieve before the final crowning implant of the Black Carapace.

Hypnotherapy,.. and drugs, and prayer to Rogal Dorn.
At least some of the Marine Implants used by the Fists (according ot this at least) require hypnotherapy to operate properly.

Page 64
or were they zombie bodies, specially bred and conditioned, and thus essentially unhuman?
The context of this is scout training where the scouts engage in melee combat with some feral warriors or some such, and aboard the Fists Monastery. Lex is wondering if these were specially trained/bred creatures designed for combat practice. Either specialty clones or servitors perhaps.

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Re: Space Marine (novel) analysis and discussion thread

Post by Ford Prefect » 2009-05-12 07:14am

It's interesting seeing what stuff from Space Marine is still present 'now'. Stuff like 'a Fist is a thinker' and the procedures of making a battle brother are pretty much identical.
What is Project Zohar?

Here's to a certain mostly harmless nutcase.

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Re: Space Marine (novel) analysis and discussion thread

Post by andrewgpaul » 2009-05-12 05:16pm

The outpost on Necromunda has been stated to be founded during the Heresy. I don't think that contradicts much, other than a possible note about veterans' descendants in the Confrontation background article in WD 130. That and Lex's first sergeant having been present. :)
"So you want to live on a planet?"
"No. I think I'd find it a bit small and wierd."
"Aren't they dangerous? Don't they get hit by stuff?"

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Re: Space Marine (novel) analysis and discussion thread

Post by Connor MacLeod » 2009-05-16 03:46am

Another update.. first battle.. the invasion of a planet by the Fists...

Page 84

- the assaulting Fists are deployed from "frigates" dropped from orbit, as well as used for diversionary tactics against the defence lasers.

Page 86 - the Fists drop ship has its own artificial gravity, mentioned on this page.


Page 86
"Karkason is a source of the best power crystals used in battle armour."
Power crystals of some type are used in battle armor, although the exact purpose for their inclusion isn't stated. Given other statements of Imperial tech (esp at that era) it could be batteries, computers, or anything.

Page 88
From certainof its volcanoes poured rivers of lava rich in transuranic elements including psycurium, invaluable in the crafting of psychic hoods and fore swords such as Marine Librarians use.Duriung other eruptions, power crystals orged in the deep magma were scattered far and wide across the lava plains, sometimes killing the harversters. Many of those plains were made of purest vitrodur, the inky armour-glass from which vast Sagramoso City- the "black chandelier of the Imperium" - was largely carved.
More "magic crystal" stuff the Imperium finds useful, though this time for psychic tech like Force swords and such. Also some (probably technobabble) hints at its formation and nature.

Page88
Lord Sagramoso's writ had run to the other barren planets of Karak's Sun, and to those of its runtish red dwarf binary twin, Karka Secundus, including some small mining world in orbit around the twin.

..

Fifteen years later, it became obvious that Lord Sagramoso was seducing the hereditary lords of neighbouring star systems- mainly agricutural ones-to turn prechers into compost and swear fealty to him rather than to a deity thirty thousand light years away.
Some inter-system contact (and perhpas trade?) occurs even though they're separated by light years. Later we learn that pirate/renegade ships serve as the conduits. But this was not deemed as unusual.

Page 89
Sagramoso City itself was heavily guarded by skyward laser batteries, and these could not easily be reflected, scattered by the vitrodur shields of the city's architecture. The blazing inferno of a plasma package likewise would wreak little major havoc upon such volcano-forged material- while barrage bombs and thermonukes would leave precious little by way of city or population to command. Organs of the Imperium fed on psycurium and power crystals as a sickly gourmet on oysters.
This is an interesting discussion of the limitations of orbital bobmardment against the planet by various means (bombs and nukes, plasma eapons, and lasers.) Plasma and laser are implied to be much less effective than the nukes, although one must also take into account the simple fact they want to take the planet intact, not as a ball of molten lava, and the limitations that owuld impose on firepower. Still even by 40K standards, wiping out an entire city (especially one of technobabble resistance, liekly) can take considerably greater firepower than available by modenr means (IE gigaton or so)

Page 90
Now the surrounding squat towers of glossy darkness, with dully glowing hearts resembling x-rayed organs, were p[erhaps disorienting him - while overhead the sky was cross-stiched with hundreds of thinnest pulsing lines of coherent light, appearing, disappearing, rendering incandescent whatever atmospheric dust they stabbed through. Their origin, the city; their goal, incoming ships. The laser mesh shifted constantly, those two-dimesnional searchlights knittign a lethal, spasming cat's cradle, perhaps operated by computer-minded Lexmeks cyborged and slaved to their weapons.

As the drop-ship yawed away, fleeing, a hem of the cat's cradle dipped towards it. Threads of light gleamed. The ship flared, briefly brightening the scene below-whereas earlier the distorted reflections of that etheral laceworkd strobing from the ebon city had only confused the eye. The vessel Yeremi had been riding in scant tens of seconds earlier erupted, disintegrated.
Defense lasers in action. Various points of interest include the implication of the lasers operating in an x-ray band (this assumes they're real lasers though, which may or may not be likely.) but I doubt this as its unlikely 40K "lasers" correspond to rL lasers any more than SW lasers do (but they probably are still massless beams.) They also apparently at least have some short-duration sustained mode, as they sweep through the sky, and they are operated by computer and cyborg control (servitor/cogitator operated guns, in "modern" 40k terms.)

Page 92

- the City is hydraulically equipped that it can alter its shape. I'm not sure why they took the Autobot City approach to building design, but it may be that the defense weaponry is sotred inside the city, or it allows it to configure better for defenses. Or just to confuse people.


Page 93
"Shurikens," Warned Akbar
"So I can see." Yeremi had already recognized those still-distant weapons because of the magnetic vortex fins sweeping back from the muzzles, ,like twin wings tipped with engine pods, and the flat round top-mounted magazines.
Imperial "shuriken" weapons back when they weren't Eldar olny devices. Note they are most expressly electromagnetic weapons,whereas in modenr terms Eldar ones are gravitiowank.

Page 94
Those shuriken stars could slice through armour and carapace and bone and might cripple Scouts yet would not inevitably kill a superhuman body.
This suggests that shurikens generally have good penetration but (individually, at least) not much killing power, hence the high rate of fire.

Page 95
The pistol hardly jerked at all as each bolt ejaculated before incandescing and zipping away. Yet only by luck did he hit one of the skaters - who was blasted aparrt. His silk ballooned, rippign into shreds. His flesh and bone opened up like a bud deploying a blood-red, white stamened flower form which the petals almost instantly fell.
Bolt pistol round blows apart human body. Well established capability for at least some kinds of ammo by now.

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Re: Space Marine (novel) analysis and discussion thread

Post by Connor MacLeod » 2009-05-25 05:24am

This edition we finish off the Traizor hive Scout Chronicles with their adventures in a Titan.


Page 95-96
Sergeant Juron had entrusted d'Arquebus with a heavy bolter that could loose a single hellfire shell as well as ordinary explosive bolts.

..

The shell only needed to hit one of the skaters - though it did need to strike a target and not be wasted, as might easily be the case when fired seemingly without aiming. That weapon could certainly continue to fire ordinary bolts yet not a second hellfire shell without a perilous pause for reloading...

..

It was an ancient, historic weapon that d'Arquebus had been priveleged to handle. Generations of Artificers had lovingly serviced and adorned the gun; and Yeremi had felt bitten by envy. Gilded panels of religious inscription enchased the foregrip. Strips of engraved antler from some rare combative rutting beast inlaid the casing, and motehr of pearl the trigger guard.
Heavy bolter carried by Lex. note the peculiar "dual feed" approach, even if the second shot is single-use only.

Page 96
The crystal missile impacted in a skater's chest, and erupted. Needles of razor-shrapnel sped outward. Fierce acids and neurotoxins engulfed almost all of the skater sin a caustic, nerve-convulsing fog.

Their silks and skin dissolved as if gobbled by a cloud of ravenous moths. The skatters skidded outward, their muscles convulsing. They were crashing, tumbling, writhing every which way.
Hellfire shell (secondary ammo for heavy bolter above) apparenlty "crystalline" ammo. I am not sure if this implies tht the shells (at this time) had something in common with needlers or were different.

Page 102
Once, they came across a dead fellow Scout of the Wild Boar Squad, lying in a glassy cul-de-sac. He had been so butchered by shuriken stars that his corpse was a mere long mound of rashers glued by cinnabar.
Scout basically shredded to tiny bits by an unknown volume of Shuriken fire.


Page 107
Sergeant Juron demanded Biff's combat knife. The looping whip that shoelaced the mouth

Muttering a prayer ot render those impotent, Juron slid the monomolecular blade between the man's lips and sliced the edge easily through the whip.
Monomolecular combat knife is standard issue for Space Marines and their scouts.

Page 108
Titans were those heavily shielded, fearsomely armed mechanical warriors seventy feet tall and more, whose crews of three or four marched the armoured robotic monsters and targeted their heavy weapons by mind impulse...
Titans here described as "seventy plus" feet in height, leaving the upper limit open ended

Page 113
The wolverine's stock of blast and frag grenades would likewise be of little avail, though since each grenade hardly bulked larger than a coin the Scouts could at least retain their pursefuls of those in case they needed to kill at a distance.

If only they had some grenades of the gas or choke or knock-out variety! But then, the Scouts were lacking respirators. Mayhem had been the aim, no tranquilization..
Intersting little tidbits about grenades and such that Space Marines might carry. They have "blast" (concussion?) and frag types, and the grenades are very compact. If they have a yield comparable to modern grenades, that would imply quite a powerful explosive (many times greater than modern ones) - even if they have a fraction fo the actual yield.

Its also implied that there exist times where Space Marines don't want to merely kill, but just incapacitate, and use "gas/choke/knockout" types (although Scouts are hampered by their lack of respirators. This is implied a situational problem rather than a general lack, though.)

Page 116
Balloon-wheeled vehicles blocked a certain crepuscular boulevard. Macro-cannons were mounted upon those, and multi-meltas.
Vehicle mounted multimeltas and macro cannon. Dunno what to say at that. Some form of artillery or assault gun, perhaps.

Page 116-117
Amplified by the vitrodur soundboards of the city, the crackle of fire and drumbeat of explosions rolled closer -impelling a flux of refugees to eddy towards the troopers, an the seeming sancutary of the palace region beyond.
This would not be allowed.

Was it a certain gunnery officer's intention to clear the field in view in Draconian style? did he simply want to test the weapon? Perhaps he only aimed to chivvy those civilians in another direction, but was inexpert in the settings of the weapon.

A multi-melta opened fire.

Superheat surged from the quadruple nozzles, liquifying the flesh and fat of the nearest targets- boiling those liquids so that grgeasy steam rose from a pool of slumped steaming bones. More distant victims burst into flames. Others flared like candles as they tried to flee.
Multimelta more or less boils/vaporises a large number of people. ("melting flesh" - no idea, cauterization perhaps) No idea how many, but presumablty a large crowd - scores, perhaps hundreds of people. Assuming 200 or so, and each was vaporized, call it double or triple digit gigajoule, minimum.

also note the "variable setting" nature of multimeltas - we know this from other sources tho.

Page 120

- Titan weaponry descirbed here: macro cannon, multi-launchers (with shells and rockets repsectively). A spare chainsword-fist stated as being "the size of a Land Raider"

Page 120
Yeremi recognized plasma cannons, macro-cannons, defencee-lasers, artillery which could melt fully armoured MArines, which could blow them away in scraps like chaff.
Effects of Titan weapons on marines. Presumably its safe to assume this is vastly overkill.

Page 121
The back of the Titan's head housed a red-lit escape chamber, equipped with anti-gravitics. From this chamber, short fat tunnels led to the control bubbles in the shoulders and in the forward head-cabin. In emergency those bubbles coudl be hurled back pneumatically, and the whole head would blast clear.
Titan control pod and ejection system, in detail.

Page 122 - Titans use reaction jets to maintain balance. This has been outlined in other Titan sources (like Adeptus Titanicus)

Page 123
Yeremi soon discovered that while a monomolecular blade was excellent for bisecting a skull as such, when it came to dissecting the contents the knife was, if anything, too keen a scalpel - its cuts so wafer-thin that the warm brain matter seemed to seal together again as if glued. Nor could he safely convey itsuse to his mouth on such a blade; which could easily sever his own tongue.
More about the Space Marine monomolecular blades.

Page 123

- the Fist scouts were able to learn how to pilot a Titan from the Moderati by eating their brains, but this did not convery the skill to do so effectively.

Page 123-124
My plasma gun, he thought, and his muscles twitched. It works by... by...
...by a discharge of super-heated ionized matter in its fourth state, as in the inferno of a blazing sun. The accumulator vanes within the hood energize the conductors and insulators of the capacitor to power this incandescent discharge., After each venting, this ancient capacitor recharges it senergy briefly, while the frontal hood ventilates. During that short pause I am vulnerable, unless I draw booster power from the Titan's plasma reactor and opt for maximal fire. But then I may fuse my gun...
Knowledge taken from the Moderati, describing the plasma gun as really firing plasma. (as opposed to certain authors who treat it as a super soaker flame gun). Also note the ability to divert power from the reactor to boost the output or quickyl recharge.

Page 125
...If incoming fire shall overload our void shields and damage our titan, if the feedback dampers shall fail too, then a Moderatus will suffer the intense agony of pseudo-injury.
More about Titan operation from the Moderati POV.

Page 126
Vortex missile...

... creates a whirlpool of seething energy....
Vortex weapon. Self explanatory.

Page 127
.. the huge power fist outside - size of an assault tank. - ...
Indication of the size of the Titan scale melee weapons. Again tank sized.

Page 131
just before the missile could be laucnhed Akbar's laser had tickled it to detonate.
Lexandro's eyes ached as enerrgy whirlpooled. A local region of space itself seemed to writhe in s uperheated paroxysm, tearing the Titan apart in a malestrom of spinning vapour.

The nearby Titan lurched askew, its banner on fire, the multi-melta on its right arm warped and sputtering. Its left amr aimed a las-cannon at the Emperor's carapace. Lexandro's vision blurred momentarily as their void screens fluoresced, soaking up incoming lances of light.
Vortx missile going off.Effects are not pretty.

Page 131
Obviously they must destroy this threat which was so much more puissant than that posed by the Land Raiders.
However those assault tanks were now concentrating las-cannon fire on the other Titans, raking upwards as high as they could - at fairings, legs, and belly-so that those Titans marched througha dancing aurora of spider-lightning.
Land Raiders attacking a titan.

Page 132
Marines raced at power-speed to empty boltguns into its heavy weapons, now laid low, so as to pierce casings and blast acutators lest the moderati recover from the stun and injuries of the fall.
I'm not sure what "power speed" is, but its interesting tht they can use their weapons up close to cripple the Titan's own weaponry.

Page 132
Soon his shield must fail. Soon those eruptive, blinding spasms of violence outside must reach in to snatch him, to tear him aparrt, and vaporise his fabric. His flesh would become boiling plasma.
If the void shields fail, Lex will be turned into plasma. Implies terajoule level outputs.

Page 134
The remaining void shields were doing their best to bleed hostile energies away as heat, but there wasn't time for it to radiate away. the interior of the Emperor was beginning to resemble a hell.
Void shields act as a sort of insulator it seems.. attempting to absorb and reradiate away weapons fire.

Page 135
Inspired, Yeremi sprayed a stream of incandescent rainbow plasma gobbets at a defence laser which was tracking in that forbidden direction, and rejoiced to see its shields fail and the shark-snouted gun warp and drop like a lugubrious runny nose.
Titans plasma weapon melts a defence laser. If we knew its size we could probably gauge the firepower.

Page 136
"Drawing booster power for max fire," Yeremi shouted to warn his sergeant.

..

"Drawing booster power for max fire, "Sir", the heat in the control bubble was almost unbearable, sweat slicked Yeremi's flesh within his servomech sleeve.

...

("What are you doing? We're slowing. Gotta be some override... Dorn, the reactor's red-line already!
[/quote]

Maximum output from the plasma weapon slows down the Titan.

Page 137-138 - the exploding Emperor titan created a crater less than a kilometer in diameter. high kt/low megaton range.

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Re: Space Marine (novel) analysis and discussion thread

Post by Ford Prefect » 2009-05-25 08:04am

It's not often that you see Space Marines using their 'learn by eating' abilities. It's actually quite amusing.
What is Project Zohar?

Here's to a certain mostly harmless nutcase.

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Re: Space Marine (novel) analysis and discussion thread

Post by Connor MacLeod » 2009-06-01 06:23pm

Fists training with lasguns, Fists on the monastery. Next week, Fists vs Squats.

Page 144
Two speechless simian Servitors attended him, one to ingest his waste and cleanse him, the other to nourish him with its own enriched blood and shift his cart from window to window-.
Servitors serving a medical function for a Space Marine who had his limbs chopped off and had been encased in molten metal, basically serving digestive functions

Page 144
An Astropath in the Librarium had messaged to Tezla's own fortress-monastary on San Guisuga, a jungle world five thousand light years away, though it might be some years yet till that cousinly Chapter retrieved their Lieutentant.
Judging by the events happening after their return, the Marines have been back at the fortress less than a day. That would make 5,000 LY/day or so.

Page 145 - the Blood Drinkers do drink blood, but will onyl drink the blood of their battle brothers (They wouldn't drink from the fists).

Page 147
He was not viewing his snout-visored comapnions with his actual eyes, though. The optic sensors in his visor transmitted the scene through the suits calculator directly to his brain. Thus no flash, however birght, should blind him. Thus, using infra-red, he would be able to stare throughs moke or darkness.
Auto senses and how they bypass the brain and the benefits thereof. Interesting that it does note they have infrared capability though.

Page 147

- the Fists are using Lasguns in zero g to test their armor - apparently Space Marines do have lasweapons suited to their size and grip. And presumably more powerful. This makes some sense from a versatility standpoint. It makes sense they might employ weapons OTHER than bolters.

Page 147
Now the faint hint of an energy shield encompassed towers and galleries, in case any laser fire flew astray. The intiiate Marines would not of course practice with boltguns here, where shells could speed onward unimpeded by atmsophere or gravity, perhaps striking some incoming ship. Nor did one put shrapnel into orbit around the base. Thus, too, no target drones could be destroyed. The lasguns were at their lowest setting: though mistakes might still occur.
The gravity of the Fist's fortress monastery is such that a bolter could reach escape velocity,and is a danger to at least some kinds of ships.

Also, lasguns have variable power settings.

Page 148
A speck of light caught Lexandro's attention. He pivoted, aimed, fired. Fired again.

"Drone hit,", reported his calculator, assessing the reflected light.
A bit on the calculating/computer abilities of the power armor. The "reflected light" bit implies some sort of active laser/lidar type effect with the lasweapons too.

Page 148
The beam from the drone didn't heat the deck, consequently it was low-powered too.
Drones are armed. Rather makes them like Tau drones, and its implied they might have higher (more lethal) settings as well.

Page 148
He leapt so easily, so mightily in the minimal gravity prevailing outside the Fortress-monastary He leapt with both feet.

And left the deck behind.

He ldrifted on upwards at an angle. He had lost his magnetic grapple on the deck. His exhaust pipes were pushing him away too.

He increased the magnetism of his boots to maximum so as to draw himself down. Ach, the deck was already metres belowe! His method would fail. Use the stabilising jets of course...!.
A number of interesting details: jumping also exceeded the escape velocity of the Fortress monastery. Boots have electormagnetic grapples but they lose effectiveness "meters' from the surface.. The backpack mounted exhaust pipes/jets seem to exert a sort of thrust - they may double as reaction thrusters in vaccuum (or they may eject some sort of coolant or even, perhaps, radiation.) Then again they may be merely emergency, since stabilizing jets are mentioned also.

Page 149
Given his rate of drift, within ten or fifteen minutes the home-base would pass onward beneath him.
This might give us an idea of the size of the Fortress monastery if we knew how fast he was travelling. ven assuming a few m/s we're going to have a diameter of at least several miles.

Page 149
As covertly as he could, Lexandro adjusted the setting on his own lasgun to maximum. Just in case. A lucky lasgun shot at max could sheer through a flexible joint in armour.
Maximum power lasgun hit aimed at a weak spot could penetrate trhoguh the armor (but apparently, not through other parts, at least not reliably.) This might be an "up-scaled" lasgun though, one designed to fit Astartes hands (same with bolters.) so it would presumably be more powerful also.

Page 151
Only weeks after they had been initiated in primo grado by the Reclusiarch during a ceremony forbidden to describe, a message of alarm from Fidelis City reverberated through the fortress-Monastery.

An Astropath on board a barge bound on the long slow haul from Karkson to the dwarf partner star, Karka Secundus, had chanced to eavesdrop on a telepathic message from the mining world to one of those agric planets that Sagramoso had seduced, using pirates paid with power crystals as his emissaries - pirates who had made themselves scarce with their illicit starships when the crusade had come through the Warp to Karka';'s Sun.
Implied realtime or "near" realtime transmission of astropathic message between two star systems. Otherwise, covering light years in a matter of hours or days, perhaps. Might be weeks, if its particularily slow, though.

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Re: Space Marine (novel) analysis and discussion thread

Post by Connor MacLeod » 2009-06-09 06:12am

Unfortunately, there will be a slight, annoying delay in any update to Space Marine because, frankly, I lost a huge chunk of text I was going to update, so I have to re type the fucker out. And this means digging out my copies of the book (which I'd packed away, stupidly.) So, this will be on a short hiatus.

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Re: Space Marine (novel) analysis and discussion thread

Post by Connor MacLeod » 2009-06-17 06:31pm

Back in business with Space Marine. yippeee...

Page 154
Likewise in reality the three-dimensional pattern of all these twisting tunnes and sudden caverns and shafts and abysms eluded any easy comprehension. The subterranean maze must sprawl for hundreds of kilometres laterally as well as for several vertical kilometers.
Scope of the Squat underground stronghold. In alot of ways its similar to some Hive worlds in terms of depth and scope.

Page 155
Power armour was invaluable here. Dead-falls and pitfalls abounded. Even doughty Eagle Armour could be buckled or imprisoned by a ton of rock falling down a shaft upon it.
a ton of armor falling can buckle Space Marine power armor. Curiously, its also implied that the armor would be "imprisoned" by that same ton of rock. This seems curiously inconsistent with the described physical capabilitiles of Space Marine armor, unless it also factors in something like damage.

I'm not really sure how to cacl this since we dont know how far or fast the rock would be moving, or even if it was a single piece of debris or several smaller pieces (I presume the former, since the latter would be even easier to move)

Page 155
Electroflambeaux that lined the tunnel walls were being kept doused by some distant engineers - though those illuminations might blaze up selectively to spotlight Marines at a moment of attack from out of the deeper darkness. generally darkness prevailed, redeemed only by phospohrescent violet lichesn faintly blotching the walls. Even a Marine's keen eyesight might have grown weary but for the extra enhancements afforded by the helmet.

Without oxygen tanks, the air would often have een far from breathable. Some tunnels contained more stale nitrogen. Poison gas choked others. Arcane, treacherous machinery would exhaust the atmosphere from some areas, and pour caustic vapours into others as the Marines advanced.
Other features of the armor apparently include night vision (working in conjunction with Astartes implants) and a self contained air supply (protection against vaccuum or hazardous atmospheres.)

Page 156

- Squats here are described as being beyond Imperial writ but also as "staunch allies" of the Imperium/

Page 156

- Fists Chaplain repeats the well known Astartes prejudice against abhumans as being "mutants", mentioning they "shun genetic deviants" because the Mutant "is the melter of Mankind..." etc. etc. Amusingly, he describes the Astartes as "Mankind Plus" as being the pinnacle of perfection.

Its also mentioned thy tolerate the squats for their mineral wealth and their stable mutation only, and because they're dextrous (good engineers) and good fighters. It is a rather amusing bias, since more or less you can call the Astartes "mutants" as well.

Page 158
It was an ambull, of course - and the hideous creature had been radically cyborged ot make it an even more potent, swift tunneller.
...

..Saw and drill.. slotting into grooved elbow-chucks.... Control cables corded its plated body....

..

More significantly, as regards dwarfish expertise, it was stealthed - by some noise-suppression field. Its excavation work produced no deafening reverberations...

..

And as for the debris which it gulped into its cavernous throat...

Why, that throat must conceal a secondary, artificial gullet - a mini warp portal which could transmit the pulverised mateiral to some distant goaf or gob where waste accumulated.
A servitor made of a creature. also included are some pretty impressive technological tidbits - the noise suppression field (like stummers that blot out noise) and the miniaturised warp portal (which is used for mining operations and quite impressive. Consider those giant worm thingies Chaos uses in the Ghosts novels to suck out the resources of a world.) which also give us a benchmark of ocmparison between the Squats and Imperium.

Page 160[/]

The leatehr clad dwarf flew backwards out of his saddle, bloodily tunnelled through with bolts even before those exploded in mid-anatomy, wrenching the Abhuman askew.


Bolter rounds vs Squat. not sure how many. Maybe a burst or full auto salvo

Page 165 - Hearthguard appear armed with bolt guns, laspistols, and plasma guns.

Page 167

Pumpkins splattered apart - and so did a couple of Squattish bodies, though their armoured rinds were hardr.

In the immediate return fire, plasma hit Stossen repeatedly, melting his right shoulder pauldron to slag, disabling his arm. His suit, of course, would anaesthetize the area, even if the pain pleased a part of him.

..

Chanting invective, they [Hearthguard] pumped plasma, searing light and explosive bolts trhough a hundred metres of torn fronds and stems.


Implied pistol range ofa hundred meters. Plasma fire melts Stossen's Pauldron (The shoulder thingy I'm guessing). Assuming that the pauldron is a couple cm thick, and 10 cm in radius you might get 1-2 kg in mass assuming silicon (we know armor is composed largely of ceramite, for example, and one could conservatively assume properties similar to rock.) and melting it would be at least 3-5 MJ (ignoring inefficiencie and whatnot.) If we assumed iron (plasteel/adamanitum) the higher density will increase the probable mass affected but te energy to melt goes down (4 kg of mass roughly, ~5 mJ to melt).

Also fire of an unknown type explodes the armored hearthguard in an unknown number of shots. Its probably not plasma since that melts without exploding, and bolters are known to explode things os that is likely, but it could also be the laspistol. That makes sense to a certain degree of course - no sense in using laswepaons if they were dramatically less effective overall.

Page 168

Lex seized one and crushed its neck with a squeeze of his plasteel power fingers, so that the Squat's eyes popped right out on their optic cords upon the hirsuit cheeks.

Snatching another by the arm, he threw it so powerfully against a wall that for a moment the body actually hung in position as part of a frescoe, held by a glue of braind and blood.


Lex picks up and throws a Squat with enough force to pulverize the lil bugger. One handed. Probalby has to throw them pretty fast to do it too.

Page 170

"Guy's been axed," Lex reported. "Chest stove in. Wasn't a power axe. There's some chest left."


Power axe implied to remove (explode) a human torso on impact. Maybe roughly equivalent to a grenade in effect.

Page 171

- Ambull controlled by cable links to rider's helmet, and is armed with a bolter and a shuriken catapult.

Page 171

Shuriken stars whinnied off Biff's armour. Several bolts impacted on his plastron. A detonation half-spujn him around. HE felt his buckled armour crimp his flesh within, and blood flow then solidify.

Shuriken catapult and heavy bolter. Biff's armour resists the (Imperial/Squat) Shurikens and mostly stops the heavy bolter rounds (although injuring him pretty seriously in the process.) Eldar shuriken weapons would likely be more powerful then, as it has been documented on more than a few occasions (DoW novel, for example) that they can penetrate SM armor.

Page 172

He thought that his subcutaneous carapace had been quite deeply punctured. Perhaps an inner organ had been ruptured. His visor readout flickered a few red tell-tales, bloody cyphers interposed upon his field of view.


Extent of the damage Biff took from the heavy bolter rounds. The armor has its own life support diagnositcs as well.

Page 173

The little abhuman, in his dingy, red piped flak jacket seemed absurdly diminished as he angled a multi-melta. Its support tripod was clamped to the catwalk. The dwarf's whole body appeared to be but a mere mottled hand wrapped around the grip of the large weapon - a fleshy appendage to its polished power cell, its ribbed accumulator, its clustered vent-grooved barrels.

A beam of effulgent heat brushed Yeri's shoulder, melting his pauldron superficially, spraying effervescing beadlets of liquid metal.

The main force of that discharge sturck an antiquated dead machine of grinning grilles, fluted coils and counterbalanced brazen globes. Some worthy ancestor perhaps, of younger engines still operating in this room, preserved by the supterstitious dwarfs for the sake of machine honor...

Liquefying, the ornate device slumped in upon itself, shrinking into a bubbling, wrinkled scrotum of sintered alloys.


Fraciton of a multimelta blast melts the pauldron (same calcs as with plasma weapon) but the vast majority of it melts/boils some nameless machine. Tripod mounted weapon but seems to be easily handled by single person.

If we completely assume an arbitrary mass for the machine.. say a couple tons (an iron mass, 50% empty space, a meter to each side) it could be a couple GJ to melt, but thats a big "no duh" calc since meltaguns can vaporize people and melt/vape large masses of stuff and has been established in that range already.

Page 178

From what Lex could see, Stossen's shoulder was a sorry wreck. Flesh had charred back to the bone.


Cauterizing/incinerating in some combination, likely. Say a couple kilos of flesh at least (possibly more, since Astartes are bulkier. I asusmed a 10-15 cm diameter shoulder area affected roughly) but Astartes are bigger/tougher. It would add at least a couple more MJ to the aformentioned plasma calc, anyhow.

Page 184 - Faced with a possessed minion of Tzeentch, Lex has another religious experience from praying to Rogal Dorn and a voice responds to him (or so Lex thinks) telling him to "Deny the Evil, Believe in me till you die." Echoes some of what happens to Rafen in the Blood Angels novels, and suggests the Dead Loyalist primarchs are still "alive" in some manner and acting on the behalf of the Emperor.

Page 189

Armoured dwarfs began to fly apart as if they too were vapourous, bloody ghosts.

..

On the blasted threshold of the cavern had appeared two Librarians of the Fists in lustrous armour, their storm bolters firing rapidly.

The psychic Librarians of the Chapter in their sublime, engraved Terminator armour!
Storm bolters on Squats, and the interesting fact that Fists Librairans (at this point at least) come with their own Terminator suits. Or have access to them, at least. Unless these are, specifically, Librarians of the First company or some such.

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Re: Space Marine (novel) analysis and discussion thread

Post by Connor MacLeod » 2009-07-06 01:06pm

Well back we go to the analysis after a long hiatus... next update for Space Marine

Page 191
In common with the nearby dungeons where Surgeon Interrogators plied their trade, the isolation complex was fabricated of adamantium. Furthermore, it was shielded psychically in the way starship hulls were shielded - with a layer of psycurium alloy to resist the seductive dreams and ravenous nightmares of the Warp, and to repel entities that inhaibted that zone where raw thought could become hideous substance.

In extremis the whole Isolatorium - as well as individual chambers within it - could be blasted free of the fortress-monastery and detonated.
The insides of the cells, incidentally, are padded, so its basically a Spacec Marine looney bin. More seriously, this is where they put those suspected of taint after contact by Chaos forces,, hence the psycurium bit (and a useful tidbit as ot the redundant protections employed agaisnt the predations of the Warp)

Page 192
Such investigations [psychic investigations by a Librarian] were by no means the metier of an ordinary fighting Marine - who could easily be vexd to madness by exposure to manifestations of such evil, world-warping forces.

It wasn't unusual to erase the recent memories of Marines who had been thus exposed and sorely affected by the experience. Such spiritual casualities might even require really radical mind-wiping, returning them to the condition of innocent infants.
building on the aformentioned sanitarium comment, at this point in time (at least) it is mentioned that those who cannot handle the knowledge of Chaos will have their memories modified or entirely erased. Whether this holds up in modern terms is a matter of opinion I suppose (It could be presumed the people we hear about in books are generally considered spiritually strong enough to resist those powers.)

Since the "Psychic investigations" are carried out by Librarians, the memory modification likely is as well.

Page 193

- Imperial Fists Chaplain carryinga force sword, implying psychic ability.

Page 198

- Fists graving tools are made with Silicon Carbide.

Page 199
And in the Librarium the Astropaths maintained devout contact with far Earth, which likely none of the Fists would ever see, even if they lived to the age of four hundred years.
Astropaths "maintain contact" with Earth.. implying fairly rapid communication despite a long (thousands of light year?) distance.

Also for a Fist (at least at this point in time, again things may have changed) 4 centuries is considered "old"


Page 202
the Leviathan that loomed ahead semeed a cross between a nautilus and an omnivorous space-faring snail. It was the length of a four-K asteroid, and almost as high where its shell spiraled upward in a circuit of increasingly small osseous chambers.
"four-K" preusmaylby means kilometres, which means the Tyranid ship is 4 km in diameter (roughly.)

Page 203
At first, and for many years, Astropaths and starship Navigators had hardly heeded the encroaching smudge within the phantasmal realm through which ships skipped from star to star in weeks or months instead of thousands of years; and through which the psychic communicators forged their mind links..

...
It lay far to the celstial south-east, originating beyond the Imperial fronteir where the cone of space and stars known as Semgentum Tempestus abutted on ultima-Segmentum...
...

Presently, astropathic signals form outrider worlds in that easterly spiral arm of stars were quenched... though years might pass until their absence was noted.
The mention of the tyranid Hive mind's initial encroachment of the galaxy... its "years' before astorpathic signals from the eastern arm of the galaxy are noticed.

The first part also implies high FTL travel times over hundreds/thousands of light years arguably (thousands of years) - a FTL speed of many tens of thousands of c. Astropathic signals are implied to be relatively rapid over those same distances ("make contact"

Page 204
Some Astropaths who served the Inquisition tried to penetrate the nature of the shadow, and died insane. They raved of cold, empty gulfs of timeless void that streched out between galaxies, vacancies too vast for sanity.
Astorpaths attempted to psychically scan the Hive Fleets at a distance.

Page 206
A thousand such ships, ,many of them even more gargantuan than the torpedo's own chosen target, were now drifting in to the Lacrima Dolorosa system.

Yet this thousand was perhaps only one per cent of the swarm that summed up to the substance that cast the Shadow...
Scale of the Tyranid Hive invastion fleet - at least a hundred thousand ships, and many of them larger than 4 km in diameter.

Page 206 - the Tyranids entered the system "just now"and are past a gas giant.. heading towards the third world of the system (inhabited)


Page 206-207

- I'm only going to note in here that Biff is really cheerful that their phallic-shaped boarding torpedo is going to ram the aforementioned Tyranid ship in the ass. And I'm not joking. The descriptive text actually paint it as an anus, up to and including farts ejected into space.


Page 209
From along one corridor flapped a cloud of scaly, violet, batlike creatures. Claws serrated their wings. The rushing cloud thickened rapidly, purpling then blackening the corridor.

...

Hand flamers brought down dozens, hundreds of the creatures. Blazing clusters, fused together by the ignited jellified oil, sizzled in the sludge. The door also blazed, its muscles and rooted tentacles writhing as if agonised.

Still more bats thronged, squealing, into the chamber, clotting the air. Marines clawed down fistfuls, crushing the flying vermin.

..

Minddlessly they were attaching themselves to that opening which power swords had carved in the tattered wall of the colon. Reachingout, they hooked together. Thus they crated a protective patchign membrame made of themselves. More bats dived upon this, thickening it. Claws pierced neighboring bodies. Hot sulphurous juices squirted, vulcanising the rubbery anatomies, stiffening and fixing them in place.
Organic Tyranid self-sealing mechanism. No idea how big the "bat sized" stuff is and how many flamers are used per dozens/hundreds.. but fif we assume it masses a pound and there were a couple dozen tops... dozens to hundreds of pounds (call it 10-100 kg at least) Assuming "fusing" refered to cauterizing/searing, ew might infer that flamers are in the high KJ/low MJ range. Not as high as some other examples, but it was a hihgly conjectural calc to begin with. And in this edition hand flamers were pretty compact/self contained devices anyhow (not the backpack monstrosities of later editions.)

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