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This text became a major part of his legacy and the cornerstone upon which the future of the Adeptus Astartes would be based. No complete copies of his original text is known to exist although the majority of his tome has survived and is available to all Space Marines, if not committed to memory. Though for all its multitudinous topics, the most lasting and contentious decree of the Codex Astartes was that the existing Space Marine Legions be broken up and reorganised into smaller organisations known as Chapters.

The rest would take new names, heraldry, and homeworlds or fortress-monasteries, and stretch themselves across the Imperium. The Codex Astartes stated that each Chapter would be one thousand Battle-Brothers strong and look to its own recruitment, training and equipment. Never again would one man be able to command the awesome, terrifying power of a Space Marine Legion.

Over the millennia, there have been many subsequent Foundings of Space Marine Chapters. Contents [ show ] History "They shall be pure of heart and strong of body, untainted by doubt and unsullied by self-aggrandisement. They will be bright stars on the firmament of battle, Angels of Death whose shining wings bring swift annihilation to the enemies of Man. So it shall be for a thousand times for a thousand years, unto the very end of eternity and the extinction of mortal flesh.

The first High Lords of Terra established the structure by which the Adeptus Terra operated, and described the feudal responsibilities and duties of the planetary lords.

This was undertaken almost single-handedly by the Primarch of the Ultramarines Legion , Roboute Guilliman , who with characteristic speed and efficiency codified the structure of the Imperial Guard , the Imperial Navy , and the Space Marines.

Of all of his works, the most influential is the Codex Astartes, the great prescriptive tome that lays down the basic organisational and tactical rules for the Space Marine Chapters. In the aftermath of the initial assault, he founded small independent task-force squads called the Red Marked , which were made up of surviving Ultramarines. The Red Marked were responsible for rooting out and eliminating the forces of the renegade warbands that were hiding on the ruined worlds of the Ultramar space.

No one man in the Imperium could ever again control the superhuman might of an entire Legion of , or more Space Marines. The Horus Heresy had revealed previously unknown genetic weakness in the gene-seed of the Primarchs and Space Marines among the original 20 First Founding Space Marine Legions , weaknesses that left the Legions in question greatly exposed to corruption by the Ruinous Powers of Chaos.

This risk was exacerbated by the rapid nature of Space Marine recruitment during the centuries between the start of the Great Crusade in ca. M30 and the outbreak of the Horus Heresy itself in the early 31st Millennium. With the Imperium of Man expanding so quickly across the galaxy during the Great Crusade, the need for fresh recruits in the Space Marine Legions was great.

So much so that some Legions had not been as particular in their gene-seed screening practices and recruit selection processes as they should have been. The first objective of Roboute Guilliman in writing the Codex Astartes was to both recognise and purge these weaknesses.

As a result, the Codex Astartes decreed that Space Marines would forever more be created and trained slowly. The genetic banks used to create Astartes implants would be carefully monitored and scrutinised for any defects. Cultivated organs would be subject to the most stringent tests of purity. Young Initiates would undergo trials of suitability before they were accepted, and only those of the very sternest character would be chosen. As a final safeguard, Guilliman tasked the Adeptus Terra on Earth with setting up and maintaining genetic banks to produce and store tithes of Space Marine gene-seed.

These banks were to provide all new gene-seed for subsequent Foundings of Space Marine Chapters. To prevent cross-contamination, the genetic stock of each Legion was isolated whilst that of the Traitor Legions was placed under a time-locked stasis seal, though at the time many believed they had been destroyed. By taking direct control of these genetic tithes, the Adeptus Terra could ultimately control the Space Marines.

They alone had and have the power to destroy or create Space Marine armies at will. It also decreed that only the Emperor Himself, through the auspices of the High Lords of Terra, would ever again be able to order the creation of a new Space Marine Chapter. All gene-seed would be subjected to the greatest genetic scrutiny before being used in the creation of new Space Marine implants.

To prevent cross-contamination, the Codex rebuked the practice of sharing gene-seed between different Chapters and, thus preventing different Legions with different genetic make-ups. From then on, each Chapter would have to rely solely on the gene-seed produced in the bodies of its own Space Marines.

The Codex also further defined the accepted tactical doctrine, Chapter organisation, order of battle, and recruitment practices for a Space Marine Chapter. It explained the different battlefield roles assigned to each squad of Space Marines in a Chapter, defining them as Tactical , Assault or Devastator Squads and assigning different equipment and purpose to each see the excerpts below.

Most of the old Legions were divided into fewer than five Chapters, but the Ultramarines, being by far the largest of the Legions, were divided many times. 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.

These Chapters would consist of ten companies of Space Marines each. The breaking of the remaining nine Loyalist Legions into multiple Space Marine Chapters is known to Imperial historians as the Second Founding , which occurred in ca. M31, seven standard years after the death of Horus.

The new Chapters created from the Ultramarines are often referred to as the Primogenitors, or "first born. Only one of the original Space Marine Legions, the Space Wolves , has never been broken down into the ten companies decreed in the Codex Astartes. The Space Wolves continue to organize their forces into thirteen "Great Companies," different in organization to those specified by the Codex.

Note that the oldest copy of the Codex, the Apocrypha of Skaros , refutes the commonly-held belief that the Space Wolves have never broken down into separate Chapters, stating that two Second Founding Chapters were created from the Space Wolves Index Astartes I, pg. However, the Space Marine Codex 5th Edition lists only one Second Founding Successor to the Space Wolves: the Wolf Brothers , who were disbanded at an unknown time because of extreme gene-seed corruption and mutation. The Codex Astartes further defines the tactical roles, equipment specifications, and uniform identification markings of the Space Marines.

Furthermore, the Codex has been reanalyzed, reinterpreted and modified countless times over the centuries. As such, it is revered by every Battle-Brother as a holy text; the wisdom of the ancients serving as both scripture and the unbending rod by which they are measured. These guidelines have evolved in practice from chapter to chapter over the centuries, and the treatise and wisdom of hundreds of military thinkers have been absorbed in their own battle philosophies.

The Codex Astartes is revered as a holy text, and many Chapters regard its recommendations as sanctified by the Emperor Himself. Battle Companies The 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th Companies of a Chapter are known as Battle Companies and they all have the same tactical organisation. Some companies also make use of Command Squads comprised solely of Veterans to protect their officers or other specialists like Apothecaries and Chaplains. Battle Companies often use Rhino and Razorback dedicated transports, and commonly deploy Dreadnoughts for heavy fire support.

The 6th and 7th are comprised entirely of Tactical Squads, the 8th of Assault Squads and the 9th of Devastator Squads. Like the Battle Companies, the Reserve Companies also make extensive use of Rhino and Razorback transports, though Dreadnoughts are usually only found in the 9th Company. These forces are held in reserve to be deployed at the discretion of Force Commanders as tactical situations evolve, often to bolster weak points or aid in breaking through enemy lines at specific locations.

Scout Company The 10th Company consists entirely of Scout Squads and is often not strong as recruitment does not provide a steady flow of Neophytes to many Chapters. As such, the 10th Company is the most lightly armed and is most often used as a reconnaissance or guerilla force. Siege Tactics When manoeuvres break down and rapid strike offensives prove impossible, the Codex Astartes offers two solutions: bypass the heavily defended area, or besiege it. The Astra Militarum might enter into attritional sieges that last solar decades or longer, but such is not the way of the Adeptus Astartes.

Space Marine siege tactics are many and varied, with most involving a complex series of choreographed attacks. Defences are probed and then distracted as assaults breach the enemy line or take the heavily defended objective. The Space Marines have a number of vehicles designed for besieging foes, such as Vindicators and Ironclad Dreadnoughts , that are ideal at bringing maximum firepower to bear against any fortress.

There is no force in the Imperium that can exploit an enemy weakness more rapidly than the Adeptus Astartes. Stealth Tactics The small but elite forces of the Space Marines put a high value on the element of surprise. Sometimes this can be achieved through speed -- rapid strikes that deploy before a foe can counter. While such sudden assaults are a hallmark of the Adeptus Astartes, they are also able to utilize stealth attacks in a manner few other forces can emulate.

By using auto-senses and sophisticated scanning equipment, some Space Marines learn to avoid visual detection, dodging patrols or enemy pickets when needed. Sniper teams secrete themselves in commanding overviews. Assault Squads and Grav-Chute bearing Reivers are silently air-dropped into position, while Scout Marines in camo cloaks steal into position. When the attack comes -- coordinated to the millisecond -- it is a perfect example of the combined arms approach espoused so often in the Codex Astartes.

Brief but bloody assaults follow, throwing the foe into disarray while other elements of the attack join the fray, be they massed Rhino transports disgorging troops or Drop Pods hurtling down from the skies.

While nearly all Chapters regularly employ covert operations, some, like the Raven Guard , are particularly adept at such missions. Their ability to stalk their prey from the shadows is the stuff of legend.

Anvil Strike Force Sometimes, a mission or adversary will demand that a Chapter must mobilise the entirety of its Armoury. In these instances, fully armoured battle groups are gathered, and truly does the ground shake beneath their treads.

Led by Captains mounted in Land Raiders or other tanks, they trundle forward, enemy fire pattering off their thick armour before they answer with a murderous barrage of their own. There are many types of armoured strike force, each tailored to suit the needs of its Chapter, the foe or the terrain. An Anvil Strike Force is perhaps the most famous of these, the strictures for its formation and use dating back to the creation of the Codex Astartes.

There, among the caustic yield-nests of the Heretek Cults, his Predators stalked the sentient mecha-fauna, blasting apart the Chaos worshippers and their daemonic allies. The Aurora Chapter is particularly well known for their lightning-fast armoured assaults, leading the way with Land Raider spearheads supported by Land Speeder suppression forces.

Brother-Sergeant Antaro Chronus has led many armoured attacks for the Ultramarines , and he has won much acclaim for incorporating aerial support and using transported troops to hold the territory won by his vehicular assaults. The Repulsor grav-tank has added further power to the armoured might of the Adeptus Astartes. Drop Assaults Unheralded, the peaceful skies are torn asunder with a violence so sudden that the human eye can barely follow.

Across untold planets since the days of the Great Crusade, the arrival of the Angels of Death has signalled defeat for the enemies of the Imperium. Surgical drop assaults are swift deployments of ground-based forces by vertical take-off and landing aircraft such as the Thunderhawk or Stormraven , or by Drop Pods launched straight from orbit.

While there are many tactical variants of the surgical drop assault, and a host of different force compositions, all rely on speed and surprise. They are used to seize and hold vital terrain, to misdirect enemy forces, or to seek and destroy key enemy commanders, defences or war engines. Billions of Greenskins have been left to squabble amongst themselves after their Warboss and his entire bodyguard were annihilated by a sudden assault that came from the skies.

The fabled Defence Laser batteries of Ixx were so powerful they could destroy any fleet that entered orbit, yet they fell prey to a Space Marine assault that opened the entire planet up for invasion. Many Space Marine Chapters have a preferred method of planetstrike assault -- such as the Drop Pod and Land Speeder Skyhammer Orbital Strike Force favoured by the Raven Guard -- but much depends upon the situation and the forces at hand. No matter its composition, the timing and coordination of a vertical assault are always vital.

With correct landing coordinates, Drop Pods can be the ultimate terror weapons, hurtling out of the sky to land at the very heart of the foe. Before the enemy can react, the occupants deploy -- either assaulting or blasting their opponents at close range. Landing in rapid succession, the Space Marines can quickly turn a staggered foe into a routing one. Mistime or misplace the drop assault, however, and the Drop Pods will be picked off one by one, the enemy able to concentrate their fire and seize back the initiative.

When arriving by Thunderhawk or Stormraven, it is vital for the Space Marines to provide aerial support; Stormhawks keep the skies clear while Stormtalons make strafing runs to ensure the landing vehicles can deploy those inside.


Codex Astartes



Pictorial List of Space Marine Chapters (A-L)


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