Chapter Tactics #194: How the Imperium of Man Compares to Other Empires in History

Today the special guest of the podcast ancient historian Dr. Bret Devereaux answers questions about the Imperium and how it functions as an empire compared to other empires in ancient history.

Chapter Tactics is a 40k podcast which focuses on promoting better tactical play and situational awareness across all variations of the game.  

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  • I’d like to thank Steve Pampreen for contacting Dr. Devereaux and setting up this episode! It was a pleasure to record.
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About Petey Pab

Aspiring 40k analyst, tournament reporter and Ultramarines enthusiast, Petey Pab only seeks to gather more knowledge about the game of 40k and share it with as many people as he can in order to unite both hobbyists and gamers. We are, after all, two sides of the same coin.
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Ben C.
Ben C.
1 year ago

That was a great listen! Obviously the Imperium with its human element lends itself to these sorts of conversations, but I’d love to listen to follow-up episodes for other factions. What historical societies (or mythologies) inspire the fluff? How would a Chaos-held planet actually function? Could an Ork warband actually remain cohesive? Totally pedantic, totally fun.

1 year ago

Shouldn’t cohesion of imperial guard be effected by the explicitly supernatural nature of the setting? Brett says that propaganda can get you to the field but can’t get you to fight, but in WH40k the religion is real. If you’re in an important war the Emperor will be watching and you may be supported by miracles. Sanctioned psykers, Astarte librarians, Sororitas saints, etc… You can witness all these things and what is that to an ordinary guardsman but a miracle? Surely that must have some effect.

1 year ago
Reply to  Tim

If it happen often enough that people can see it. Else it’s like right now.

The amount of miracle is hard to evaluate, because we can’t rely on the numbers in the book and must make assumptions on three points.

First is number. If marines, sanctioned psyker (who aren’t navigators) and sisters are truly as rare as they are in lore, almost no guardsman, or civilian for that matter, would ever have seen one. Cannot get convinced of the reality of religion if you never see its servant

Second is about how many miraculous deeds happen. The sister book certainly make it look like every time Sisters are involved there’s dozen miracles that happen, but that might be gameplay and/or happening only on truly important battle and almost never otherwise. If the miracles are rare and only happen on dangerous battle where almost nobody came back alive, then them being real or propaganda isn’t a big difference.

Third one is how visibly supernatural theses exploits are. The in game miracles and prayers are often of the “people are more skilled suddenly” category. Which isn’t good for propaganda ; the christian miracle are much more often “guy shrugged off being decapitated” or “dude walked on water” because that’s much less explainable than “the crowds suddenly was a bit better at farming”.

So, within what we know, it’s easy both to think that there’s a ton of visibly supernatural effect helping faith, or that they are so rare and subdued that mostly nobody really saw one.

(that apply for regular people of course. Chaplain and navigators sure have a by lore an easy way to be sure there is a supernatural grandaddy helping them)

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