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  1. #1

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    Forum Project - Codex Astartes

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    The Codex Astartes

    P R E L U D E

    “They shall be my finest warriors, these men who give themselves to me. Like clay, I shall mould them, and in the furnace of war forge them. They will be of iron will and steely muscle. In great armour shall I clad them and with the mightiest guns will they be armed. They will be untouched by plague or disease, no sickness will blight them. They will have tactics, strategies, and machines such that no foe can best them in battle. They are my bulwark against the Terror. They are the Defenders of Humanity. They are my Space Marines, and they shall know no fear.”

    —The Emperor of Mankind


    I
    Order of Battle

    Spoiler



    II

    On Fortitude



    Spoiler



    III
    On Gene-seed


    Spoiler



    IV
    Dispositions



    Spoiler



    Last edited by Graverobber; 14th December 2016 at 22:37.
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  2. #2
    Rolling an 18 DrakonTheNightLord's Avatar
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    The Codex Astartes isn't a religious tract that would be divided into verse - Guilliman would probably methodically section the book into several chapters pertaining to their subject matter, no?

    Bear Island knows no Kim but the Kim in the North, whose name is Jong Un.
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  4. #3

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    Yeah, I took the "verse" thing from the first quote in Chapter 4 according to P. 14 of Deathwatch: Rites of Battle. And the religious tone is based on "My will be done." - Warhammer 40,000 Compendium, p. 129. But you have a point about the chapter categorization perhaps not being as good as it could be. That's all me...

    Last edited by Graverobber; 11th December 2016 at 05:10.
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  5. #4
    nonamewight's Avatar
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    But remember that in the 41st millennium verse may not have the same connotation as now. It could just have been an easy way to split up chapters.

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  7. #5

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    Yeah, I considered doing it in the style of parts of the Imperial Infantryman's Uplifting Primer, another in-universe publication. That book goes for all-out biblical text, with little numbers to denote verses in the linear-narrative tales of great Imperial Guard commanders such as Macharius. But I figure the Codex is less of a story/collection of parables and more of a collection of advice in the vein of The Art of War. Still, I guess I could flesh it out with more explanation of the meanings of each piece of advice...

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    Not as fat as advertised Thatfatguy's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Graverobber View Post
    Yeah, I considered doing it in the style of parts of the Imperial Infantryman's Uplifting Primer, another in-universe publication. That book goes for all-out biblical text, with little numbers to denote verses in the linear-narrative tales of great Imperial Guard commanders such as Macharius. But I figure the Codex is less of a story/collection of parables and more of a collection of advice in the vein of The Art of War. Still, I guess I could flesh it out with more explanation of the meanings of each piece of advice...
    IIRC the codex astartes not only gives specific instructions on the breakdown of a chapter, but what role a chapter of space marines has within the Imperium of Man, and specifically states 'If you're enemy is doing X, then use units A, B, C and D to do 1,2,3 and 4, if Units A, B, C, and D are unavailable, this can also be done with units E, F, G and H, if the enemy then begins to Y, then change your tactics to use unit A to do item 5, then... etc etc etc...

    so unless you're a tactical genius well versed in the myriad ways of every concievable battle plan using vehicles and soldiers we know nothing about, you just can't make an actual copy of the Codex Astartes.

    HOWEVER, you may be able to make a 'Volume I' sorta dealy, where it shows how a chapter is meant to behave, certain hymns etc.

    When you get a job you don't complete your challenge, when you don't complete your challenge you get punished.

    Damn you EB!
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  10. #7

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    Yeah, well I'm no tactical genius. But I do teach military history, ethics, and strategy at Japan's National Defense Academy (it's really just glorified English teaching, but I've learned a lot from the cadets' presentations on famous battles). And so I tried to put in as much as I knew/believed and leave space, in the form of classified sections, for others to expand and add more. Just as Guilliman alone did not write the Codex (and the historicity of Sun Tzu is in doubt), my dream would be for us as a community to work it up to proper length by "declassifying" more and more.

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    Rolling an 18 DrakonTheNightLord's Avatar
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    Shall we make an effort of it then? I offer you my help, such as it is. We can first start by figuring out how many chapters the Codex should have, and what subject matters they should contain.

    Bear Island knows no Kim but the Kim in the North, whose name is Jong Un.
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  13. #9

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    Wow! Thanks so much! OK, as a first step, I've put all the parts (including headings) that are direct quotes from canon in red. So, those parts kinda can't be changed, IMHO. But I'm game for changing anything and everything else. Would you like to work on it in a Google doc with me? We can post the link here for any and all who want to join in...

    Last edited by Graverobber; 12th December 2016 at 07:46.
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  14. #10
    Rolling an 18 DrakonTheNightLord's Avatar
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    That would have been the first thing I'd suggest, yes

    Bear Island knows no Kim but the Kim in the North, whose name is Jong Un.
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  15. #11

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    OK, great! So, here's the link...

    https://docs.google.com/document/d/1...KpNuCkwwA/edit

    In terms of structuring, I'd suggest that you're bound by "My will be done." being in on P.1, Chapter 4's first verse being what it is, there being at least 47 volumes, and there being at least 1,017 remarks/codicils. Also, WD300 has some more specific stuff about certain quotes being from certain volumes/chapters. If you have any questions about any of the other red parts or anything else, please don't hesitate to ask.

    I look forward to seeing your initial changes! Let me know when you're done...

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  16. #12
    Rolling an 18 DrakonTheNightLord's Avatar
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    Can't access the link but I'll see what I can do with what I have. Obviously I can't do the whole thing in a single day, so I've decided to work on one chapter at a time:

    The Codex Astartes


    P R E L U D E


    “They shall be my finest warriors, these men who give themselves to me. Like clay, I shall mould them, and in the furnace of war forge them. They will be of iron will and steely muscle. In great armour shall I clad them and with the mightiest guns will they be armed. They will be untouched by plague or disease, no sickness will blight them. They will have tactics, strategies, and machines such that no foe can best them in battle. They are my bulwark against the Terror. They are the Defenders of Humanity. They are my Space Marines, and they shall know no fear.”

    —The Emperor of Mankind

    Volume One
    Chapter I - Order of Battle

    I: “My will be done.”
    II: The Space Marines shall thus be a formation of Chapters composing of ten Companies, led by a Chapter Master.
    III: Command of several Astartes formations are hereafter to be divided, and a singular Commander of massed Astartes formations is hereby outlawed.
    IV: A Company shall consist of 100 Space Marines. This unit is led by a Captain, and must have an Apothecary, Company Standard, and Chaplain.
    V: Each Chapter shall have an Armory consisting of the Chapter's Techmarines, tanks, and other units, existing outside the Company structure.
    VI: I, Roboute Guilliman, High Lord of Terra, Warmaster of the Imperium, and Primarch of the Ultramarines, doth declare The Edict of Nikaea abolished.
    VII: To this end, the Librarius Order is to be reinstated, and reintegrated into the new Chapter formations.
    VIII: A Chapter is required to maintain a Fleet or a Homeworld as its headquarters.
    IX: The composition of the First Company shall thus be made wholly of a Chapter's Veterans. Armed and supported by the finest arms a Chapter can muster.
    X: Companies 2 to 5 are thus designated as Battle Companies. Each split into six Tactical Squads, two Assault Squads, and two Devastator Squads.

    XI: A Squad is composed of 10 men, led by a Sergeant, with support units as necessary.
    XII: Companies 6 to 9 are Reserve Companies. With the 6th and 7th comprised of Tactical Squads, the 8th Assault, and the 9th Devastators.
    XIII: Reserve Companies and their related supporting equipment are to be deployed as the combat situation evolves.
    XIV: The 10th Company shall consist entirely of Scout Squads.

    XV: Of the Tactical Space Marine, bedrock of his Chapter and paragon to his brothers, I shall tell thee. He shall be steeped in the lore of battle and schooled in all manner of weapons and strategy. With Combat Blade, Boltgun and Grenade shall he assail the foe. But these are mere tools: a Tactical Marine’s true weapons are his courage, his wits and his dedication to his brothers. He will bring the foe to battle in a manner and time of his choosing, never himself caught unready or ill-prepared for the task at hand. In defence he shall be as stalwart as the mountain, a bulwark stood firm against the enemies of Man. In attack he shall strike with the wrath of the Immortal Emperor, felling the foe without mercy, remorse or fear.”

    XVI: The Tactical Squad shall draw the enemy’s fire, thus allowing the Devastator Squad to attack from a position of strength.

    XVII: A Devastator’s reach shall be without limit and his touch without mercy. Fire shall roar from his fingertips, but it shall consume him not. Thunder will roar when he calls, yet it will swallow him not. Let the Devastator Squad be thy blazing wrath, bringing the light of the Emperor’s justice to the darkest corners of the battlefield. Wherever he stands, that shall be his fortress of righteousness. He shall hold in his gift the fate of all who pass before his unblinking gaze. All shall fear him, and he shall fear no one.

    XVIII: And of the Assault Marine so do I decree: He shall descend upon the perfidious foe as an Angel of Judgement from on high. Let the jump pack be his wings and the roar of its engines a hymn of retribution. Know, though, that although speed be the essence of war, he shall not use the jump pack to leap blindly into enemy fire. Let him instead allow neophytes from the 10th Company to guide his way.

    XIX: Let the chainsword be his scepter of decree, its harsh voice singing joyfully with each and every blow. With it shall the Assault Marine bring bloody retribution to the heretic, the traitor and all alien transgressors who trespass on the Emperor’s domains. So will the Assault Marine be the hunter of warlords and the slayer of kings. His armor shall run slick with the life blood of the vanquished, and all shall honor his name.

    XX: And within each company, the mightiest warrior shall be anointed as Champion. He shall bear arms and armour of great craftsmanship, and he shall protect his Captain from all harm, though it cost him his life. Great honour shall be bestowed upon him in life and in death, and he shall be lauded with great praise.

    End of Chapter I

    Verse XV: “Use your Bike Squad as a blade, striking the enemy and turning aside his counter-blows in equal measure. But in all things beware that speed is nothing without direction, just as even the mightiest weapon is worthless without careful aim. A Biker’s stance should always be resolute and dauntless, but never immobile or rigid. Speed is his advantage, and surprise his deadliest weapon. In fluidity he will find success and in success shall he find renown.”

    Verse XVI: “A Captain leads from the front. By his example shall his men know what it is to be of the Adeptus Astartes, and from his teachings shall they learn the trade of battle in the Emperor’s name. No ordinary man can a Captain be, for many are the paths to victory and he must be master of them all. His very being shall be an extension of the Emperor's work. With every strike of his sword, with every word of his speech, does he reaffirm the ideals of our honoured master. He will vanquish darkness and heresy with every thought, word, and deed. So shall his coming be a sign of deliverance to the dutiful, and a herald of dismay to all traitors. No living man shall stay his wrath.”
    ^These canon quotes do not belong in Order of Battle, as they do not speak of any form of battle order. The Bike Squad can be placed in a tactics based chapter later, and the Captain one can be about command. Keep them, we shall work on this later.

    Bear Island knows no Kim but the Kim in the North, whose name is Jong Un.
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  18. #13

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    OMG! Brilliant work! And I LOVE your changes. Sorry about the Google doc. I had it so you had to be invited, but now it's open to anyone with the link. So, I cut and paste your work into it, replacing the first chapter.

    My only note is that the reason I used the "classified" gag is so that others could add to it later. Plus, it's kinda short for a chapter. Also, the reason I classified Verse 2 was that the codex apparently lists other chapters and how they're divided (but that information is unclear in the canon). What do you think?

    P.S. I didn't put this part in red, but this is taken from the Warhammer wiki: 'Guilliman tore apart the documents of his old doctrines in front of Thiel and made his message clear; from now on, the Ultramarines shall not be a "horde under a warlord that follows him" but a "hundred of thousands of individual Legionaries each in support of the other". Thus was the vision for the Codex Astartes born.' That was the basis for one of my quotes at the beginning of the first chapter. But I'm happy to lose it as you could say that it's about the Codex rather than in the Codex.

    Last edited by Graverobber; 12th December 2016 at 22:54.
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  19. #14
    Rolling an 18 DrakonTheNightLord's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Graverobber View Post
    other chapters and how they're divided
    I think verse II adequately does the job. Remember that the Codex was written after the Heresy, when there were still Legions. Being ordered to divide into 1000-strong Chapters would be specific enough. I don't think any other Foundings beside the Second was really within Guilliman's realm of control.

    As for your P/S - I know, as you say, about, not in.

    Currently at work, and probably won't have time to work on this further during weekdays, but I suggest you begin looking at passages regarding command, and begin compiling them for a chapter. This chapter should have everything a commander needs to know to conduct his duty, so mostly simple things like "delegate", and "be decisive", in so few words.

    The way I see it, we need a chapter about command, strategy, and tactics, in that order. From what I've skimmed, tactics is already here, so that's good. The natural place for this seems to be Volume II. Volume I should be about the basic things we know about Space Marines, and from what I see they all make sense, just need a bit of a touch-up, which I can probably do given time, ie, the weekend.


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    Yeah, in regard to Verse II, I'm happy to leave it how it is. But I still think we need to leave room for others to add more detail. Here's what the Warhammer 40,000 Wiki says about it: "The exact number of new Chapters created from the Ultramarines is uncertain: the number listed in the oldest known copy of the Codex Astartes (the so-called Apocrypha of Skaros) gives the total as 24, but does not name them all." That's the degree of uncertainty I was referring to.

    And will do re: Command. Just so you know though, I'd originally divided what you're talking about into two chapters: Strategy and Tactics. This was based on the Clausewitzian notion of strategy being what is done before battle and tactics being what is done within battle. I added Operations due to the WII Soviet idea of one more layer in between the two. I then renamed Strategy "Dispositions" due to some strategic quotes from WD300 that said they were from Volume IV and a chapter named "Dispositions" (or, the way they cite it, it could mean that the entirety of Volume IV is named "Dispositions"). So, I think we need to leave Volume III "classified" or "lost to the ages" or something like that.

    Anyway, a real pleasure working with you! And anyone else who wants to join in, please do!

    UPDATE: I added Chapter IV, per your suggestion (deleting all else that follows, so we can build from what's in this thread rather than being stuck with it). I also tried to edit Chapters II & III to match your style. See what you think...

    Last edited by Graverobber; 13th December 2016 at 03:20.
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  21. #16
    Rolling an 18 DrakonTheNightLord's Avatar
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    I think it's better to affect our current progress to your first post as well, ease of access and all that.

    There's also formatting to discuss in these matters. Should we 'reset' the chapter numbering after every volume and chapter? The Roman numerals will get tiresome across several volumes, so it's something to consider. If we apply this logic, your current chapter IV should be chapter I of volume II, with its first line beginning with I, and so forth.

    And I think quotation marks are not required, with the exception of when they are actually quoting someone other that Guilliman. Canon quotes of Guilliman should be shaded blue for clarity as I have done in Chapter I. I'm currently reading Know No Fear and there are excerpts of "Notes Towards Martial Codification" by Guilliman, a thinly veiled hint of the proto-Codex Astartes.

    The document title is numbered 7,3, ii.

    If we look at how our Codex is structured, this would mean Volume VII, Chapter III, line II. Do you agree? And if so, should we change our numbering entirely? 1-9s for Volumes and Chapters, and Roman numerals for lines?


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  23. #17

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    Great points, all. Yeah, I'm cool with whatever notation you suggest (let me know if you'd like me to make the changes or make them yourself). And I totally agree about the primacy of consistency. The only thing I'd stress is that the line "Know thy duty, and discharge it above all else." is, according to canon, the first verse of Chapter 4 (which makes it kind of hard to have multiple Chapter 4's; although, you could argue that "Chapter" and "Volume" have been used interchangeably - as "Remark" and "Codicil" appear to have been).

    UPDATE: OK, I cut and paste the stuff from the Google doc over the original post. But sorry, I didn't realize your intention with the blue and already changed it all to the same color (but I just changed the direct quotes in the Google doc back to blue). Also, I'd argue that, while the color could help for our purposes while writing, it should be removed at the end for a seamless effect.

    Last edited by Graverobber; 13th December 2016 at 12:48.
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    Rolling an 18 DrakonTheNightLord's Avatar
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    I'm happy for you to conduct the changes. For now, I think direct quotes that we know as canon should be colored for now as a guide for contributors. We can get rid of color when it's """""""""done""""""".

    The Chapter IV thing is a pickle. We could push the Chapter on Duty to IV, but we'll need 3 other Chapters to precede that, and Strategy and Tactics (2 separate Chapters) don't seem right coming before Duty. Thoughts?


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  26. #19

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    OK, I changed the formatting. Have a look (in the Google doc, as I'd have to do the formatting twice to get it looking right here). I just did away with words like "Prelude", "Volume", and "Chapter". That has the benefit of 1) accounting for the ambiguity of some of the quotes (which matches the controversy with things like the Apocrypha of Skaros) and 2) giving us a reasonable number of chapters/volumes to plan out: 47.

    I've got "I" as "Order of Battle", "II" as "On Fortitude", "III" as "On Gene-seed", and "IV" as "Dispositions". "IV" covers everything from command to strategy to operations to tactics (that way it's consistent with canon references to quotes from both "Chapter IV" and "Volume IV").

    So, if you agree with this general approach, I guess the next step is to decide what those chapters/volumes should be called. From the canon, we have the names of a few...

    II - On Fortitude
    IV - Dispositions
    VIII - Thoughts
    XV - Siegecraft
    XXXIV - Coda
    XLVII - Hymnals

    And then, of course, there are the codicils after that.

    Last edited by Graverobber; 14th December 2016 at 09:02.
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    Rolling an 18 DrakonTheNightLord's Avatar
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    First post is unreadable..

    At this point I'll let other contributors to fill in on volume / chapters. I'll concentrate on editing and adjusting material already available and slowly work myself down the whole thing.

    Chapter / Volume III could be called "Friends and Foes". In Know no Fear, Guilliman writes "If you start with many and end with a single victory, then the cost in between is acceptable." This is a T'Vanti battle creed, which while he doesn't agree entirely, he records nonetheless. I suggest we devote one chapter / volume about the things Guilliman knows about his allies and enemies.


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