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  1. #1

    Default Just when did Horus lose?

    Afternoon.

    Bit of a poser here for those familiar with the expanding background of the Horus Heresy.

    As per the title - just when did Horus lose?

    Now the obvious answer 'when the Emperor mind-bulleted him to death' isn't what I'm looking for.

    Instead, I'm wanting to explore the decisions made during the conflict as a whole - so really from the start of the Isstvan cleansing, right up to the final moments on his Battlebarge.

    Quick comparison? World War 2. The war wasn't won when Berlin was taken - instead, that was just the final event of a long chain of disasters. Some feel it was when they opened up the Eastern Front, and provoked Russia. Others argue it was The Battle of Britain, in which the German war machine was dealt it's first serious defeat.

    So that sort of thing. What was Horus' first blunder? Was it one of his allies who cost him the initiative required to strike before the rest of the Imperium could gird itself - or was it his own hubris?

    Right. Off you go
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  2. #2
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    Interesting question, depends how badly you would call it losing, obviously even the first moment of turning against the Emperor means he was doomed to fail, after all, the big E has been manipulating human history since day one, its massively unlikely he was blind to what would happen once he made Horus Warmaster. Horus was always going to rise against the Emperor and the Emperor would always beat Horus, I think the events in the novel Vengeful Spirit is important to this though SPOILER WARNING FOR VENGEFUL SPIRIT

    Sort of, I mean, its still a great book and I'm keeping the spoiler vague in case you ignore this

    In fact, the book is vague in the same way I am being too, its an unknown quantity

    But really, if you've not read Vengeful Spirit and do want to, this is best left unspoiled so stop reading.



    OK, I don't think the Emperor expected Horus to go in to the chamber beneath Molech, I think he considered his mind games and everything else he put in place enough to protect whatever was down there and Horus getting his hands on it levelled the playing field more then E-Unit would have wanted. Its also the event that damns Horus and all of humanity into the slow, downward spiral of death over the next 10,000 years. He was always going to lose and I think the Emperor wanted that, what civilisation hasn't needed a good civil war to show everyone exactly who is in charge and conveniently whittle away the Legionnes Astartes which were coming up to the end of their shelf life anyway?
    Last edited by Path Walker; 11-27-2015 at 09:10 AM.

  3. #3

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    I'd say that when he had to commit ground forces to Istvaan was the start of his plans unravelling. Also losing certain Primarchs that he had been certain would join him. Mainly Istvaan, the idea was that he'd wipe out those loyalists in one, fell swoop and continue to hold the initiative and have the loyalist forces on the back foot. Tarvitz getting the word out allowed the Eisenstein to flee and warn Dorn and the Emperor, allowed the survivors to delay the Warmaster's forces as much as possible, and meant they then had to do the Istvaan V battle to handle the reinforcements that came in.
    Read the above in a Tachikoma voice.

  4. #4
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    The Emperor was already fortifying Terra, he recalled most of the VIIth with him. He knew there was going to be a betrayal at some point. I don't think an early warning out have been as valuable as that, given that it allowed what he did on Istvaan V, Angron being Angron was probably either a stroke of luck or an extremely well calculated move, without the Dropsite Massacre, which was only possible thanks to the early warnings of his betrayal, he'd have had a much harder time of the longer fight.

  5. #5
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    He lost the moment he began conspiring against the emperor of all mankind. Never stood a chance actually.

  6. #6

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    It was the moment Horus realized he wasn't Rogal Freaking Dorn.

    DOOOOOOORN!!!

  7. #7

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    It was the moment he lowered his shields. Which he has to do since imperial reinforcements were incoming.

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by CoffeeGrunt View Post
    I'd say that when he had to commit ground forces to Istvaan was the start of his plans unravelling. Also losing certain Primarchs that he had been certain would join him. Mainly Istvaan, the idea was that he'd wipe out those loyalists in one, fell swoop and continue to hold the initiative and have the loyalist forces on the back foot. Tarvitz getting the word out allowed the Eisenstein to flee and warn Dorn and the Emperor, allowed the survivors to delay the Warmaster's forces as much as possible, and meant they then had to do the Istvaan V battle to handle the reinforcements that came in.
    This. Thanks for saving me the time to type it out Isstvan was just the first in a long series of small little foibles that all added up in the end.

    I wish Skrall woulda killed Horus. Favorite character.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nogle View Post
    It was the moment he lowered his shields. Which he has to do since imperial reinforcements were incoming.
    Tzeentch made him do it...

    - - - Updated - - -

    Mmm. Mebbe when he turned to Chaos. If he had just been a non-chaos aligned rebel he may have swung some of the primarchs he needed. I don't reckon orgy-tastic allies with daemons in their heads, or diseased surly nobbers make the best henchmen...
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  10. #10

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    To play off what Path Walker said, I believe it started when Horus decided he'd follow the Emperor's footsteps to Molech and beyond. The Emperor made his journey alone and at a time when he was not the center of a galaxy-spanning Empire. He used guile and subterfuge to gain whatever it was he gained on Molech (I personally dislike the Molech idea, since I prefer the original origin story of the Emperor's power, but that's for another time). By the time the Emperor gained the physical position and mantle of His title, he had gained control of Terra and had made a pact with Mars.

    Horus, on the other hand, for all of his cunning and planning -- for all that he managed to turn fully half of the Space Marine Legions to his banner -- he was stupid in how he spent his forces. The primary reason behind his lunge for Terra was because he knew and anyone else that cared to think for a moment knew that once gathered, the combined armies the Emperor could call upon would crush Horus. It's why he relied upon fear, propaganda, and the Alpha Legion so heavily. It's why he didn't stop Lorgar (one of the largest legions at his command at the start of the Heresy) from enacting the Ruinstorm.

    He had to keep the Imperium of Man off-balance, keep it's forces separated, and strike as hard as possible at it's heart. Once his primary strike failed to succeed [big spoiler: Terra doesn't fall] then his arrow was spent, as they say. Even with allies among the new Dark Mechanicus, he had no way of renewing his numbers, fleets, or armories; not like he had at the beginning of the Heresy.

    So in effect, his very actions of trying to force the Imperium off balance, the reckless methods he took to gain personal power by following in the Emperor's wake, and by failing to bring enough force to bear upon Terra all led to his defeat. You could say that he was lost before he even began.
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