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40k Scale wars. Does Games Workshop understand the scale of war?
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Old 23 Oct 2009, 00:19   #1 (permalink)
Shas'Ui
 
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Default 40k Scale wars. Does Games Workshop understand the scale of war?

I finished the third installment of the Siege of Vraks story last week, and one thing really bugged me. The casualties. The book said that fourteen million guardsmen had died. This seems a little ridiculous to me, as the Siege of Vraks was a war that lasted some eighteen years, and produced enough carnage to summon some of the most powerful demons even known.

If we compare this to the Second World War, Vraks really doesn't seem all that significant of a conflict. Sure fourteen million people is a colossal loss of life, but WWII lasted six years, and fifty million people died as a result of it. I feel like in galaxy of such turbulence and resources, conflicts should be on a larger and more fatal scale.

At the same time however, the Valhallan commander in the new Guard Codex is recorded to have cost the lives of ten million men in the taking of a fortress. Perhaps this is a much grander conflict than the Codex has room for, but it seems like they've swung over to the other end of the scale, and have made that particular engagement far to deadly than is reasonable.

How do you feel about GW's scale of conflicts? Is it just that the wars of the far future are so varied in form that statistics that seem unreasonable could actually be realistic? To other codex's talk about casualties in such extremes?
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Old 23 Oct 2009, 00:38   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: 40k Scale wars. Does Games Workshop understand the scale of war?

I think GW typically just makes up numbers they think sound good. There probably isn't much consideration to historical figures that are comparable.
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Old 23 Oct 2009, 01:07   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: 40k Scale wars. Does Games Workshop understand the scale of war?

Also that 50 million would have been a "total"

That causality number you just said was "Guardsmen" only, nothing about enemy forces or other details, like "non-guardsmen, mercenaries, etc"

But yeah, most "Epic battles" really sound like they just smoked some joints, wrote down some things, and maybe played a couple games then added 000,000 to the deaths in the games.
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Old 23 Oct 2009, 01:18   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: 40k Scale wars. Does Games Workshop understand the scale of war?

I don't think they expect to be taken so literally...
maybe it was meant to be billion.
Ofc the pdf may have lost a hundred times as many men as that...
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Old 23 Oct 2009, 01:29   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: 40k Scale wars. Does Games Workshop understand the scale of war?

Just as an example, the Battle of the Somme lasted for 5 1/2 months on one Continent in a very limited area and, quite plainly, resulted in "only" one million casualties. Obviously, a worldwide conflict that lasted for decades should result in billions of casualties.
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Old 23 Oct 2009, 02:22   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: 40k Scale wars. Does Games Workshop understand the scale of war?

Quote:
Originally Posted by HijiriOni
Also that 50 million would have been a "total"

That causality number you just said was "Guardsmen" only, nothing about enemy forces or other details, like "non-guardsmen, mercenaries, etc"

But yeah, most "Epic battles" really sound like they just smoked some joints, wrote down some things, and maybe played a couple games then added 000,000 to the deaths in the games.
That's fair. The fourteen million guardsman statistic doesn't include the minimum of 8 Million traitors that were originally on Vraks. Nor does it include Loyalist Space Marines, Chaos Space Marines, Demons, Navy Casualties, Grey Knights, Inquisitorial Storm Troopers and Inquisitors themselves.

That said, I think the emphasis on is to show that the Guard took the greatest casualties. Even with the casualties of both sides and across factions thought, if Vraks ended up being on the same scale as the second world war, it still seems unreasonable. Not that WWII was minute by any stretch of the word, but that would mean that single nations have the power to create conflicts that bring about the summoning of Khorn's Right Hand. If so, what is it the minions of Chaos are doing inside the Eye of Terror, it would appear they are a great deal more humane than we are. :-\
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Old 23 Oct 2009, 03:12   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: 40k Scale wars. Does Games Workshop understand the scale of war?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Beowulf
If we compare this to the Second World War, Vraks really doesn't seem all that significant of a conflict. Sure fourteen million people is a colossal loss of life, but WWII lasted six years, and fifty million people died as a result of it. I feel like in galaxy of such turbulence and resources, conflicts should be on a larger and more fatal scale.
That's the magic word of the day; "People". And you said it yourself, 14 million Guardsmen are dead. Nothing of civilians and the enemy itself (but someone said 8 million here, I think). Your WW2 numbers take into account of civilian casualties. Vrak didn't.
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Old 23 Oct 2009, 03:29   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: 40k Scale wars. Does Games Workshop understand the scale of war?

Mhm, this is a statistic limited to one side and in that one side's soldiers. It's like saying this is how many ground troops were killed in a gigantic conflict, and the number reflected the regular army. It doesn't account for civilians, Marines, special forces, etc. And that's just on one side, forget the other side. The total should be by far and large MUCH higher, but that's if you can figure out how many civilians were killed that even have bodies lying around. Good luck tallying.
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Old 23 Oct 2009, 03:32   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: 40k Scale wars. Does Games Workshop understand the scale of war?

Not to mention that it is often suggested the numbers were far lower for the Germans...

However, the firepower in WW1 is nowhere near as powerful as the firepower in 40k. The kind of weaponry in use would lend itself to a LOT of destruction.
But, again, it isn't really worth thinking about it too much. Just enjoy the story :P
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Old 24 Oct 2009, 07:17   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: 40k Scale wars. Does Games Workshop understand the scale of war?

You guys need to understand, in the year 42,000 the human populations are massive. Most Imperial Hive Worlds have 400 billion, yes billion people living there. Last I heard, the total populace of the Imperium was estimated to be 500 trillion. This may not be true, but if its even close...14 million men isn't hard to beleive if they came from a world with 400 billion people living their. Imperial Hive worlds pay tithes to the Imperial Guard in soldiers, Krieg is one of those worlds.
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