Ad-Mec food intake...
6th Nov, 2008

How do the Tech-Priests of the Adeptus-Mechanicus eat? Ever seen one feed? Do they feed like regular humans?

I was musing on this and figured something similar to my ideas of the Space Marines back-pack may prove to be a good place to start. Perhaps a little radical but how about mixing a re-breather with a backpack bio-waste recycling system to produce an integrated life-support system powered by a micro plasma engine?

The system would reprocess all waste using the energy of the plasma-engine to drive the reprocessing, before feeding it back into the bio-system. As a bonus bionics can also be powered by this system.

This would mean the a Tech-Priest does not each food as such and instead is powered buy a plasma-engine and 'feeds' on tritium (H3). This feeding could be via implant flasks with a back up (for times when fuel supply not assured) could be a face mounted hydrogen extractor to process regular air and- or water.

It may be a bit extreme but it gives the Tech-Priest a nice 'otherworldly' feel to them. Plus is they process water they would have an excess of Oxygen and could vent it with puff of fire via a stovepipe (stovepipe is a type of top hat, and that's not weird at all... ) or some snazzy palm mount hand flamers.

This life-support system may also work wonders for Space Marines.


Wizards vs Psykers
6th Nov, 2008

This is a concept of cross-linking Warhammer 40K Psykers with Warhammer Fantasy Wizards by having them share the same meta framework.

The 'winds of magic' as chaos energy drawn into reality and stabilised via Slann Tech. In the fantasy setting this is a residual effect of the polar gates, processing the warp energy and spewing it into the world.

Light (white) magic is a collection of all the colours. The Elves in fantasy can use light magic and it is very powerful. Humans in fantasy can only use a single colour. Dark Magic is not a 'wind of magic' but instead a direct tapping of the warp (circumventing the Slann Tech processing).

Using this concept in 40K, the Eldar use white magic which is processed via their technology. This isolated them from the full temptation and corruption of chaos.

Human Psyker tap the warp directly and therefore use the fantasy equivalent of 'Dark Magic'. This leave them prone to corruption and temptation by chaos (hence most human psykers are soul bound).

The wind of magic in the fantasy setting sense are rare in 40K, but they do turn up near warp rifts and the Eye of Terror. When a human in 40K is exposed so the winds of magic some find they can channel it and effective become magic-users (hedge).

Some machines in 40K, like warp drives, leak winds of magic and therefore need special counter measures.

At high concentrations the winds of magic can be inhabited by 'spirits', these are similar in concept to the daemons of the warp except they are in the winds. This opens the option of having the undead in 40K, zombies and ghosts. Therefore a warp engine that is leaking can be haunted...

1000 marines?
5th Oct, 2008

There has always been a lot of debate about the accuracy of the 1,000 marine limit per codex chapter. As the logic goes; If there are 10 companies of 100 marines, which is 1,000,  then how can there be a limit of 1,000 if the Companies' Captains, Apothecaries, Chaplins, Standard Bearers, or the Librarians, Techmarines, Dreadnoughts, Drivers, Senior Officers and the mighty Chapter Master have not been counted yet?

It seems to all come down the scout company not being countered towards the 1,000 marine limit. Space Wolves aside, is seems that Scouts are definitely not full space marines and are still regarded as Neophytes.

"As the Neophyte nears the end of his training, but before he can become a full battle brother, he is inducted into the Scout Company to earn the right to wear blessed power armour and demonstrate in the fires of battle that he is ready for the final stage of his transformation – the implantation of the Black Carapace"

Codex Space Marines page 11

"Once a warrior has proved his courage in the Scout Company, he is elevated to the rank of battle brother and inducted into one of the Chapter’s Battle Companies"

Codex Space Marines page 12

As to limits, it’s never specific. True, at first look, 10 companies of 100 troops make a thousand, but this does not include all the Company's Captain, Apothecary, Chaplin, Standard Bearer, or the Librarians, Techmarines, Dreadnoughts, Drivers, Chapter Master and Senior Officers. This would be far more than 1,000 Space marines per chapter.


Maybe it’s all down to some strange quirk of fate: that the 9 full battle brother companies (excluding the scouts), plus the veteran sergeants from the Scout Company (seeing as the Vets are full Space Marines), Captains, Apothecaries, Chaplins, Standard Bearers, Librarians, Techmarines, Dreadnoughts, Drivers, Chapter Master and Senior Officers also just happen to come to around 1,000. If this is the case, then there are indeed 1,000 Space Marines per Chapter, but the Scouts are not counted.

It should be noted that in all the pilots (inc. Thunderhawk) and vehicle crews may come form the 6th,7th,8th, and 9th companies providing 'support' to the other Chapters. They may not be extra marines.

All this confusion is a simple misunderstanding, at seeing the 10 companies/ 100 troops per company and taking that as the thousand without digging any deeper.

Well that my reasoning, and it seems to fit the facts 😉

Golden Men/ Stone Men/ Iron Men
16th Sep, 2008

This is a bit of wild musing on the nature of the Golden Men/ Stone Men/ Iron Men. It differs from GW material and what I have posted on my concept page on my site: Dark Age


I'm rather taken with the idea that it's a bit like Hesiod's works and days, specifically the ages of man. Obviously we have to muck about with it (or it's no fun) and I kinda lean towards the concept that it should aim to describe what it means to be human (or rather sentient) and their progeny. The idea of progeny has to be expanded a wee bit, to allow for creations other than reproduce that are 'sentient'. Not just genetic but meme, where DNA is but a code of information to create other codes of information in other formats.

Golden men = Original Psykers made by the Slaan (Old Ones)
Stone men = the great artificial intelligences
Iron men = a new chaos immune species.

This may have all be done to 'invade' the materium.

Transition of life form types

  1. In the grand scheme of concepts the Old Ones [who are warped based] create a materium species who are the Slann.
  2. The Slann variants include human beings. The humans start out as being fantastically powerful psykers, and are basically the gods of myth like Zeus etc.
  3. The humans then (seem to) degenerate away from being Psykers. They become 'us' (modern humans).
  4. Modern day humans are a transitional phase (see below), and do not show up in the ages.
  5. Humans, who devolve to merely having latent psyker abilities, but this does allow a link to the warp and for creativity. The humans create technology and the machines.
  6. Machines rise as a full materium life form lacking any form of warp connection.
  7. The great artificial minds are powerful, a 'god' in the materium, but not as good as the original Psykers in the god stakes.
  8. The machines create a new biological life form in the Iron Men.
  9. The Iron Men are literally a 'Tau' brain in a machine case (probably 'T.A.U'?).

As such humans are merely a means to an end and are outdated. They were made to bring about a fully 'materium being' able to function without connection to the warp.

Why the Old Ones would want to make such a creature is open to debate?

As I see it (in this concept) The 'ages of man' are merely steps to creating at end result (I suspect the Iron Men have left to do what they had to to, whatever that was. They may even have ended up as 'Necrons/ C'Tan' and form a basis for a warp invasion (where the Necrons are not actually opposed to the 'chaos gods', and function as counter-parts and agents. All working for the Old Ones?).

I suppose that's really pushing into what people are calling 'grimdark' a little too much. I'm sure many are not going to like the idea that the whole of human evolution is a mere 'stepping stone' to great plans, and all the terrible calamity in 40k is a mere trifle compared to the concerns of the Chaos Gods - Necrons and the greater plans of the 'Old Ones' (which makes the Old Ones power level off the chart (but they may be dealing with infinite alternate realities (all connecting to the same warp)). The plans of the Old Ones marches on relentlessly and humans have been forgotten. A mere 'remnant' of the fabric of the universe.

  1. Old Ones - govern infinite alternate realities and the warp
  2. Chaos gods - govern warp local to a given reality accross a whole universe
  3. Slann - govern the warp local to a given galaxy and can materialise.
  4. Necrons - govern a given galaxy and the physics within.
  5. Humans*  (and other sentients) govern worlds and lesser lifeforms on the (perhaps part of an 'evolution protocol' driven by 'chaos' and stabilised by the Necrons - Necrons perform 'cults' in this breeding program)
  • Humans are currently hitting outside their weight.

As to fact and connection, I vaguely remember RIk or someone suggesting the Stone Men were silicon based (CPU) with Iron men as robots, but I could be wrong.


People are daemons too
1st Aug, 2008

Inspiration often strikes when you least expect it, and sometimes even casual chit chat on a forum can spark the imagination. What follows in a outline of how I see daemons in 40K. This is self-quote from a thread on the BL Forums, inspired by Schaferlord's off hand remark... Sometimes that's all it take to send my imagination into a tail spin!

Source: "Ickle Baby Daemons" thread on the BL Forums
I think the chaos demons are just that - highly chaotic, and demonic, and are generated as needed. Their manifest form may follow a blueprint built into the human id (and other sentience species'). These spontaneous daemons would appear in areas of great emotional outpouring and death, born of the fragments of souls (as the break apart in the warp) and powered by the fears and desires of those still living in hellish conditions. These warp manifestation are 'emergent properties' of high concentrations of soul fragments and energy.

Only very powerful demons who survive in an area for a long time would be able to retain their shape and leave the warp image of the world they were born. I would hazard a guess that on a world like Earth (using Earth as a template) that certain gods would form daemons, and if kept powered for long enough and enough die (natural or otherwise) they could become free of their binding to Earth. So there could be daemons formed in the image of various gods of cultures form all over the world; from Aztec and Norse gods. For example: there could be a daemon of Xolotl and Thor. However I think these would be very local - but as the world expanded they could merge together and grow (as cultures mix) and become a thunder god of all of Earth with aspects of all the cultures thunder gods.

Such Thunder God could be evil or good or 'it depends', I think the Emperor is a 'Thunder God' of Earth (Terra) manifest into reality and possessing a human body (close match as the 'daemon' is made form human emotion and fragments).

These merged Gods may be great, and as the process continues greater still. Instead of covering a country, continent or world the could keep going until they cover a whole galaxy. These would be the real 'Chaos' Gods, and ironically after the Emperor conquered half the galaxy he (may have) become one of these super size 'Gods'. he may not have started out as a super god but he become one.

Well that my fluff heresy for the day...

This all ties in with my thoughts on the nature of the Emperor and of the Emperor's corruption, where the Emperor is a super Psyker who becomes so much more though a process of absorbing other's energies. I quite like the idea that a powerful Psyker can become a focus for energy and start to become powerful like a god because they begin to attract warp side energy; that their soul becomes a 'daemon' in the warp growing fat on the emotional energy of those around the Psyker and perhaps absorbing other's soul fragments and becoming 'corrupted' in the sense that their soul is no longer wholly their own.

Once the Emperor may have been a human super Psyker a perceived 'god' but not a real god. As time progressed he began to absorb the power of those around him and it began to corrupt him. To stop this he forbade worship of him and tried to stay away from those who were over emotional (regular humans). The Primarch acted as a buffer between himself and regular humanity. It is therefore ironic that with his death and the rampant Emperor worship, that he can no longer resist and is 'becoming'. However he is no longer purely himself, his soul has transformed and mutated by the emotions focus on him, and he soul is now alien to the mind that dwells in the materium. To a regular human it would be like having a massive Id, a powerful beast the dwells beneath he surface. I suspect it's all the Emperor can do to keep it caged, and on the of main reason for the Astronomican is to drain the nascent god of its power.


780lbs Marines
15th Jun, 2008

I used Shaq as a base because he's 7'6" and this made it easy to scale the body mass up to a marine's proportions. Basically a marine is about one and half times as broad as Shaq. I did this to match the Jes Goodwin diagram of the marine (when scaled to fit 7'6" rather than 7'). Obviously just making Shaq one and half times as broad without modifying the depth would make the marine a bit flat, so I also multiplied his depth by one and half to match. This gives quite a solid body mass but without being too crazy, in many ways it's similar to a 'stocky' build only larger.

To work out the weight of this marine I multiplied 350lbs (Shaq) by 1.5 for breadth to give 525lbs, and then multiplied 525lbs by 1.5 for depth to give 787.5 which I rounded up to 780lbs. This means a marine made of muscle and bone with a density similar to Shaq is 780lbs. This is quite massive for a human, as humans never actually have a body type, with these proportions, at this scale.

Looking at the marine he may look a bit bulky compared to many a comic book hero, as we are used to seeing a certain hero type of figure, it is easy to assume this type of marine he is slow. However, considering the cross section of bone and limb he is probably surprising quick (considering preconceptions) for such a mass. Combined with the extreme skeletal modifications they may also have increased strength due to better skeletal leverage (like a chimp or gorilla is very strong for their mass). These marine could pack quite a wallop - like charging Rhino!

At 780lbs, increased skeletal leverage and strength boosting power armour it is easy to see how a marine can lift a large adult male by the throat with one hand. It's easy to see how they can crush skulls, not because of hand waving, but through sheer power.

Space Marine Morphology


Evolution of Psykers
28th May, 2008

The concept of humans 'evolving' into a Psyker species is an interesting concept in 40K. While chance mutation in humanity's genetic code that gives an advantage to an individual may lead to evolution of the species via offspring dominating the gene-pool, it seems that this is not the case in 40K. Psykers seem very vulnerable in 40K and most fall to chaos all too easily, yet more pop up all over the Imperium.

Psyker powers are thought to be linked to genetics, as some species have strong Psyker powers (Eldar) while others seem totally devoid of any Psyker power or even a warp image (Tau). This seems to imply that Psyker power must have some form of genetic component. However in humans it seems that chance mutations of Psykers power would never survive long enough in a population to become dominant. It could be that the genes are recessive, and that they pop up from time to time when both parents have the recessive gene. This doesn't explain why those with the recessive Psyker genes (and hence: no power) would become so popular to cause an epidemic (fall of the Golden Age).

Something else is at work here. If it was a simple gene based power humans would have found it long ago. There is evidence that such knowledge may have existed with the Navigators (and the navigator gene), these strange mutants with the third eye, is compelling. The Navigators have the power of navigation, but this power is seen as distinct from full Psyker powers; as they lack many of the proper Psyker powers and are immune to possession. It is not conclusive that all of the Navigator's powers are purely gene based. Navigators often exhibit proper Psyker powers in addition to their 'innate' abilities.


Thinking about evolution, and humanity's rise to power through technology advancement and our resultant domination of our enviroment; it seems that humans have not changed much for thousands of years. We seem pretty constant as there is no need to change as we can always overcome our enviroment with the abilities we have now. The only threat is other humans.

It's the 'other humans', and the concept of competition, I think provides the key to the Psyker conundrum. The only real evolution seen by humans is in ideas. Wars are dominated by technological superiority. They are dominated by ideas, concepts and memes (social information norms - tenants). The real evolution is in our ideas, it is the ideas that are competing with each other, mind vs mind with the body and genetics being relatively constant.


Humans in 40K may already be fully Psyker enabled: they all have the genetic code needed to draw on the warp and produce Psyker effects. The problem is that the genetic code only gives the potential for the power to exist, but that the potential has to be activated and this is where ideas come into play.

Certain ideas and concepts, memes and feelings, affect the warp image. A correct combination aligns the warp image in such a way as to activate the power. Once activated and the person is aware, they may become locked in that state of mind, or they can switch back and forth.

The activation of the power may vary from person to person depending on their own personal warp image, generated from their personality. Each person's activation sequence is different and not uniform across all humans. It is all down ideas and memes - an incredibly complex 'lock'.

This would mean that Psyker powers in 40K are indeed genetic at there core, yet it is not that simple case of a gene based power. The memes play a huge part. Therefore the Navigators may be just like all other humans with the addition of having been genetically engineered with a 'third eye'. if this adaption is combined with some meditation in a limited enviroment and isolated gene-pool (and hence isolated memes) it could make activation more predictable. The activation may be a minor part of the human Psyker power which is then boosted by the engineered adaptations. This would also explain why some Navigators develop other powers, as they are just as susceptible as other humans to spontaneous development via meme infection - that talking with other humans and picking up ideas and memes means the navigator may unlock other powers.


If this is the case: Psykers in 40K are going to be exceptionally random and with no genetic markers to distinguish them from any other human (as all humans have the same genetic 'Psyker' markers and are as such 'invisible'). A new Psyker can spontaneously pop up anywhere, the result of a mere idea, something they saw for the first time may be all that is needed to unlock the Psyker powers. A person could look at the patterns on a butterfly's wings (homage to chaos theory) and unleash an Alpha class Psyker.

New experience and ideas would increase the likelihood of unlocking powers. The Imperium may not like the idea of this happening in an uncontrolled manner. 'Travel broadens the mind', yet in 40K this may not be seen as a good thing. The reason the Golden Age gave rise to a Psyker epidemic may have nothing to do with the chaos powers, it may be down to the rapid exchange of information and the development of new ideas. The more information you have the greater the chance of unlocking a power.

Perhaps enlightenment in 40K brings about super powers, or at other times an ignorant child may stumble upon the 'key' and unlock hell (Apex Twins). Perhaps laughing hard after watching 'Happy Tree Friends' did it?

Maybe this is why many humans have developed a 'cult' of ignorance. They see accepting new ideas may lead to your downfall. That the only information your really want is the information in your own population (if stable and Psyker free). On the other hand, many may go looking for new information. It may explain why Inquisitors all seem to go nuts and gain super powers. It may have little to do with Chaos Gods and merely 'chaos'.


Sole Survivor
26th Apr, 2008

This is my theory on the origins of the Emperor. Us 40K fans endlessly speculate on where the Emperor was in our history, and who in history the Emperor may have been. To me the answer has always been pretty apparent that a being of such power, and the 'Shamans' would show up in our history and be very noticeable. The Emperor was born in Anatolia in 8,000 BC an it seem to me the only real records from that time are later recordings of myths and gods.

The Titans of Greek Myth seem to be very elemental, like 'time' and 'chaos'. Translated in 40K I suspect they would turn out to be  the Old Ones, or the Slann (agents of the old Ones, though I think the various monsters could actually be the 'Slann' but demonised for the myths - like the Cyclops or Hydra).

Gods (real gods)
I propose that the Gods of antiquity where actually alpha-class psykers of immense power that gave rise to Greek myths of the gods we read about in the great sagas. These Gods are the progenitors of all humans. However humans as we know them today are a degenerate offspring of the Gods (think Hesiod's Five Ages). It seems alpha+alpha does not equal alpha offspring! The first generation are demi-god, so originally there are demi-gods and all sort running about, which gives rise to lesser demi-gods, but it all boils down to modern humans (with no powers to speak of). Every now and then a new psyker is made (throw back) and even new alpha-class psykers emerge.

According to the legend of Titanomachy the Titans and Gods have a bit of a war and things get messy. So in this concept the alpha psykers have a war with the Old Ones, or perhaps more specifically they may have had a war with the Old One's agents: the Slann. Then they probably close the web way gate on Earth (the one the Emperor 'found').

Further to this concept: The Emperor, for some reason or another, consumes the other gods (as Greek gods tend to do in the myths) and contains all the other god's 'souls' of that age (which gives an alternate version of events to the Shaman sacrifice but matches the same outcome of a 'gestalt soul'). When creating the Primarchs he literally plucked them out of his being and bound them to a clone body (clones are supported by some of the background). They came out different because such a powerful soul would have an effect on the body (plus a little chaos influence). The Emperor can not make new super souls, but he can make clone bodies.

I would say the Emperor is 'Zeus' / 'Jupiter', the last god standing. This gave rise to the monotheistic and monistic religions in ancient 40K, the first real version being Aten. I can see the Emperor, bathed in golden light and with a halo as a version on Aten.

Anyway, the Emperor is the king on the gods, consumes the other gods to become one god. Then vomits up (god seem to do that from time to time) a whole bunch of gods he had previously consumed and bound them to clone bodies. The betrayal of the Primarch may have more to do with ancient history than chaos.

In this little pet theory of mine is about magic and gods in the old fashions sense. There is not high tech alien influence, and not technology fossils. The reason being that god like powers kinda negates the need for technology, or if you have psionic powers to the point of a 'god' (in the Greek god sense) you really do not need technology. Therefore there would be relatively little technology during the era of the gods, and all technology is most likely invented by humans over generations as they lost their powers (or relied on 'god' to sort it out, which back then was kinda like asking great-great-grandfather to sort it out).

Then the Primarch are recreations of past 'gods' and would be (technically - if true) human. They would be part of the Homo line, before Homo sapiens (sub-species sapiens). This particular human is totally missing from the scientific line as we know it – as they have not 'died' and left remains. The Primarchs would be as human as the Emperor is human, but they are not post-(modern)human but pre-(modern)human. I suspect they are merely a version of human who has been genetically tampered with (but still compatible with humans) and more a sub-species. Basically the greatest of genetic traits blended to a form of 'perfection' (in a gross all out warbot kinda way).

Looking at the old myths, it seems the children of the gods become minor gods with far less power, and the children of the minor gods are weaker still. After several generations (or hundreds of generations) the offspring are literally plain old humans with not super psyker powers, though we retain our smarts and 'soul'. The other problem is that at some point we do not have the powers to rejuvenate, and we are no longer sustained by warp energy and we became mortal.

In this scenario a demi-god isn't really a demi-god, but a mating between earlier generation with a later generation of human. This may boost the child's power compared to the generation of a given era, and elevates them above other humans, but they will not live forever.

All the evolution of mankind could be Slann interference (though probably not due to the time line), or some other interference. I tend to see the human experiment as a 'failure' as it can't give rise to new super powerful souls with any regularity, and most (back in the day) I would guess had to be artificially created and bonded to a human body (possession?). The body and mind reproduced properly in off spring but the soul did not generate correctly (incompatible souls? Not 'soul mates') and degenerated in power over successive generations to become weak and eventual un-psyker (this engineered link to a powerful soul is probably why daemons can possess a human - as all the plumbing is there)

But things did not go smoothly with the Gods (Psykers) and Titans (Slann?). The Emperor (Zeus) as one of the old Greek Gods (not a Titan) eventually gets into a spat with the Titans which is 'oh so human'. I would guess this is what happens when you build a super-weapon like a alpha-class psyker - your creation may decide that they don't need you! It is a fear that humans have of their creations, because it's exactly what we would do (and in this case did). We project our power lust onto everything to form targets and then seek to tear it down in the name of self defense.

Humans are very destructive - we are made that way! We are designed (in 40K myth via Philverse) to destroy everything that is not human, and have an engineered fear of the unknown and those not like us (hit it first and ask questions later). We stay ever vigilant, and are always up to no good. Sometimes this Old One/ Slann engineered imperative goes astray and we demonised other humans, but all humans when confronted by real aliens become 'adjusted' or 'synchronised' to the target and rally together.

Eventually the Gods realize humans are a lost cause and will continue to degenerate, their reliance on technology will make them weaker and weaker; eventually forcing them to tamper with their own genetics. This tampering will make humans incompatible with the last vestiges of the divinity, and sever the soul link. They become automatons, devoid of creativity and passion, the fire in their eyes finally goes out and they eventually loose the will to live.

Unless someone does something about it - cue the Emperor and his amazing powers of interference on the sly (and the web way, nothing like having super powers 'gods' charging about the web way causing trouble for all! oh, and these god may have been around for a long time, they may even be the Eldar gods too!).

Also chaos may be closely linked to humans (there are a lot of them all over the place) and with the 'current' lack of our ability to draw power from the warp it may be creating a backlog. It may be that humans in 40K do not feed the warp, or the chaos gods, at all. It may be a case of 'flow of creation', and the Old Ones may be unable to channel power though humans to work their wonders (like they could with the Slann - which we may have killed). All this backlog of creative power may create the chaos gods which then cause trouble. The chaos powers or daemons can possess a humans in a temporary way, but this is due to weakness in the humans but the link still existing.

It's all a huge mess, but great fun! (well, I think so, but I would - wouldn't I) Again it's all down to how you imagineer it, and this musing can be as wrong or right as you like it.


PS: This has been used as a base for the Of Ghods and Primarchs on my site.

Ork Tech
8th Apr, 2008

This fella built a... 'spider' thing, which I think it pretty much how I imagine Ork tech would look. I wonder if given the choice that Orks wouldn't build such things?

I could imagine this thing stomping across the battlefield, but it would need to be faster and a little more mobile. Good effort though!

Rednecks build spider mech!

Makes me smile every time I see it move 😀

Musings on marine martial arts
30th Mar, 2008

Image if you will, a marine is in combat without weapons against a skilled unarmed opponent. The closest target area in relation to the arms is the opponent's guard. The Marine ignores the head an body and grabs the guard. In this case the opponent's arms (it could be a spear etc. or any hand weapon held in a guard that is outstretched to the front).

The marine grabs the opponent's arm (snatch, slightly circular punch with open hand), and while most skilled opponent shouldn't have any trouble getting out of a grab, this poor fellow finds the marine is too strong (plus the armoured gauntlets) and they can't twist out of it, the marine's thumb is not weak point in their grip, and the opponent is held fast. (a regular human can use the same tactic but they have to move in while their opponent is defeating their grab, as most human aren't strong enough to maintain an outstretched grab hold around the arm)

The marine crushes the arm in the grab, snapping bones and pulls the (out of range (head/ body)) opponent towards them for a finisher. The marine isn't chasing after their opponents, instead the marines snatch what comes close and drags their opponent to them.

In comparison to a striking style, and in single combat, this is no more difficult than punching at a guard (the most commonly known use I imagine is boxing). Swap the punch impact for an open hand grab. A quick snatch.

When the marine is facing  multiple combatants, the same thing applies; snatch and pull. The marine draws people to them to be destroyed. This also deals with over-commitment problem as the arm is much faster and quicker to recover than the whole body - a fast deadly opponent (Eldar/ Nid) is going to find it harder to catch the marine over-balanced. I think marines are very good at retaining their balance (for their size they know it would be a weakness) and rarely overreach or chase their opponents.

As to other techniques used to speed up the butchery, a marine could literally grab the arm, force the person down and knee them in the face or body (about the right (optimal) height considering the difference in size). A bit comical imagining them 'marching' through a crowd like this, but considering their armour it wouldn't be a problem. Using one arm means they can still hold their weapon.

This grab and pull would, as I mentioned earlier, defeat many conventional hand weapons; from two handed swords (with guards such of the plough or ox) and spears, to single handed weapons and shields. It is the marines grip that is deadly, and just like a medieval gauntlet they can grab a 'live' blade with their power gauntlets and not care. They can use one arm to deflect high one handed mace blows and the other to grab their shield and pull the bearer down (the Bolter is heavily armoured and could act as a shield of a sorts). Marines are hand grapple fighters, and this is how I imagine the Techno-Barbarians (makes me think of techno music and barbarians all freaking out at a rave!) of ancient Terra used to fight with their powered torsos - the forerunner of the Mark 1 'Thunder Armour' used by the first marines. A legacy I image would carry over to current marine close combat systems.

In general terms the snatch and grab means no second chances for the opponent to recover. I see marines as being all about the business and they wouldn't waste their strength advantage in combat. It also allows them to grab weapons and turn them on the bearer, in many ways the marines do not need to carry hand weapons into combat because the enemy will supply the levers (weapon) of their own destruction. A weapon is just a way for a marine to get to a person quicker (if the opponent is stupid enough to hang on). Kinda like combat fishing.

I think it is very interesting inventing combat arts for the marine. I believe it's a good idea to draw inspiration from many of the current arts, but not limited by them: think of the possibilities!