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    Sardaukar?

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    Sardaukar?

    Postby malika » 11 Jun 2008 18:42

    I feel really lame for asking this because...well I hate these kind of questions when looking at other fiction, be it Star Wars, 40k, Terminator and so on. But...how strong is a Sardaukar? Dune mentions they are powerful soldiers and Orald here mentioned they could beat hundreds of enemies. However...is there any more info on them besides that?

    All I know is that the Sardaukar become so powerful because they live on Selusa Secundus which is a very harsh world. When reading this I simply assume that the Sardaukar are strong and skilled fighters because of their environment (nurture), but because of added genetic/biological upgrades (nature). So they are basic humans with way superior training. Would they be pushing what is humanly possible? Probably not, the Fremen were superior to the Sardaukar as were figures such as Duncan Idaho and as far as I can tell they were still perfectly normal humans.

    I might be wrong here, but if anybody has more info or anything on the Sardaukar so I can figure this out I would be very grateful! :)
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    Postby A Thing of Eternity » 11 Jun 2008 18:47

    I'm pretty sure there's some half serious half joking math in Dune somewhere about how many average fighters equal a Sardaukar and how many Sardaukar it takes to equal a Fremen. You could use that for ratios of "strong" can't tell you where to start though.

    I'll see if I can source this for you after work.
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    Postby malika » 11 Jun 2008 19:08

    I don't really care that much about "one Sardaukar is twenty soldiers" or whatever, I'm more interested in what they can and cannot do.

    But yeah...Im still curious about that piece of Dune math. :wink:
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    Postby Freakzilla » 11 Jun 2008 19:26

    SARDAUKAR: the soldier-fanatics of the Padishah Emperor. They were men from an
    environmental background of such ferocity that it killed six out of thirteen
    persons before the age of eleven. Their military training emphasized
    ruthlessness and a near-suicidal disregard for personal safety. They were taught
    from infancy to use cruelty as a standard weapon, weakening opponents with
    terror. At the apex of their sway over the affairs of the Universe, their
    swordsmanship was said to match that of the Ginaz tenth level and their cunning
    abilities at in-fighting were reputed to approach those of a Bene Gesserit
    adept. Any one of them was rated a match for any ten ordinary Landsraad military
    conscripts. By the time of Shaddam IV, while they were still formidable, their
    strength had been sapped by overconfidence, and the sustaining mystique of their
    warrior religion had been deeply undermined by cynicism.

    Dune, Terminology of the Imperium
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    Postby A Thing of Eternity » 11 Jun 2008 19:31

    Thanks FreakZ, now I just have to figure out if there's a passage somewhere that says how well Sardaukar match up against fremen. I remember something...
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    Postby orald » 12 Jun 2008 01:56

    malika wrote:and Orald here mentioned they could beat hundreds of enemies.

    Did I? Not that I recall.

    Unlike 40K, the sard' don't get genetic manipulations and bio-enhancements like the space-marines.
    They're the top notch of humanity's physical fitness because of their environment which weeds out all but the strongest, so they are somewhat superior(FH has this "harsh environment breeds/turns people into super-humans or kills them in the making" theme all over his works- "what doesn't kill you make you stronger").

    The Fremen are by no means ordinary, quite the opposite- they're bred into that environment by people who've in turn been themselves bred to it etc, so only the fittest survive there. If anything, they're even more superhuman than sardaukar.
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    Postby Freakzilla » 12 Jun 2008 03:25

    A Thing of Eternity wrote:Thanks FreakZ, now I just have to figure out if there's a passage somewhere that says how well Sardaukar match up against fremen. I remember something...


    "By your own count," Hawat said, "he killed fifteen thousand over two years
    while losing twice that number. You say the Sardaukar accounted for another
    twenty thousand, possibly a few more. And I've seen the transportation manifests
    for their return from Arrakis. If they killed twenty thousand, they lost almost
    five for one
    . Why won't you face these figures, Baron, and understand what they
    mean?"
    The Baron spoke in a coldly measured cadence: "This is your job, Mentat.
    What do they mean?"
    "I gave you Duncan Idaho's head count on the sietch he visited," Hawat said.
    "It all fits. If they had just two hundred and fifty such sietch communities,
    their population would be about five million. My best estimate is that they had
    at least twice that many communities. You scatter your population on such a
    planet."
    "Ten million?" The Baron's jowls quivered with amazement.
    "At least."
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    Postby Serkanner » 12 Jun 2008 03:39

    A Thing of Eternity wrote:Thanks FreakZ, now I just have to figure out if there's a passage somewhere that says how well Sardaukar match up against fremen. I remember something...


    From Dune:

    "Then you should just go take one," Hawat sneered.
    "Yes," the Fremen said. "We took one. We have it hidden where Stilgar can study it for Liet and where Liet can see it for himself if he wishes. But I doubt he'll want to: the weapon is not a very good one. Poor design for Arrakis."
    "You . . . took one?" Hawat asked.
    "It was a good fight," the Fremen said. "We lost only two men and spilled the water from more than a hundred of theirs."
    There were Sardaukar at every gun, Hawat thought. This desert madman speaks casually of losing only two men against Sardaukar!
    "We would not have lost the two except for those others fighting beside the Harkonnens," the Fremen said. "Some of those are good fighters."
    One of Hawat's men limped forward, looked down at the squatting Fremen. "Are you talking about Sardaukar?"
    "He's talking about Sardaukar," Hawat said.
    "Sardaukar!" the Fremen said, and there appeared to be glee in his voice.
    "Ah-h-h, so that's what they are! This was a good night indeed. Sardaukar. Which legion? Do you know?"
    "We . . . don't know," Hawat said.
    "Sardaukar," the Fremen mused. "Yet they wear Harkonnen clothing. Is that not strange?"
    "The Emperor does not wish it known he fights against a Great House," Hawat said.
    "But you know they are Sardaukar."
    "Who am I?" Hawat asked bitterly.
    "You are Thufir Hawat," the man said matter-of-factly. "Well, we would have learned it in time. We've sent three of them captive to be questioned by Liet's men."
    Hawat's aide spoke slowly, disbelief in every word: "You . . . captured
    Sardaukar?"
    "Only three of them," the Fremen said. "They fought well."
    If only we'd had the time to link up with these Fremen, Hawat thought. It was a sour lament in his mind. If only we could've trained them and armed them. Great Mother, what a fighting force we'd have had!

    One of my favourite scenes actually.
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    Postby A Thing of Eternity » 12 Jun 2008 12:20

    I see I've been beaten too it!
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    Postby SandRider » 04 Nov 2008 18:23

    told ya.
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    Re: Sardaukar?

    Postby Setzer » 05 Sep 2011 11:58

    Wait, they killed twenty thousand fremen with a five for one kill ratio? That means they lost 100,000. But according to the Baron's plan, there were only two legions of Sardaukar on Arrakis. So, they managed to suffer more casualties then they actually had on the planet. That puts them on about the same level as Star Trek redshirts.
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    Re: Sardaukar?

    Postby Serkanner » 05 Sep 2011 12:09

    Setzer wrote:Wait, they killed twenty thousand fremen with a five for one kill ratio? That means they lost 100,000. But according to the Baron's plan, there were only two legions of Sardaukar on Arrakis. So, they managed to suffer more casualties then they actually had on the planet. That puts them on about the same level as Star Trek redshirts.


    There were also Harkonnen soldiers on Arrakis.
    "... the mystery of life isn't a problem to solve but a reality to experience."

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    Re: Sardaukar?

    Postby Setzer » 05 Sep 2011 12:10

    Serkanner wrote:
    Setzer wrote:Wait, they killed twenty thousand fremen with a five for one kill ratio? That means they lost 100,000. But according to the Baron's plan, there were only two legions of Sardaukar on Arrakis. So, they managed to suffer more casualties then they actually had on the planet. That puts them on about the same level as Star Trek redshirts.


    There were also Harkonnen soldiers on Arrakis.


    True, but Hawat was mentioning the return manifests for the Sardaukar, not the Harkonnen assault in general.
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    Re: Sardaukar?

    Postby Serkanner » 05 Sep 2011 12:12

    Setzer wrote:
    Serkanner wrote:
    Setzer wrote:Wait, they killed twenty thousand fremen with a five for one kill ratio? That means they lost 100,000. But according to the Baron's plan, there were only two legions of Sardaukar on Arrakis. So, they managed to suffer more casualties then they actually had on the planet. That puts them on about the same level as Star Trek redshirts.


    There were also Harkonnen soldiers on Arrakis.


    True, but Hawat was mentioning the return manifests for the Sardaukar, not the Harkonnen assault in general.


    How many men are in one Sardaukar legion?
    "... the mystery of life isn't a problem to solve but a reality to experience."

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    Re: Sardaukar?

    Postby Setzer » 05 Sep 2011 12:13

    3,000 men in a brigade, ten brigades to a legion, so, 30,000 men.
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    Re: Sardaukar?

    Postby Serkanner » 05 Sep 2011 12:16

    Setzer wrote:3,000 men in a brigade, ten brigades to a legion, so, 30,000 men.


    From where do you have that info?
    "... the mystery of life isn't a problem to solve but a reality to experience."

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    Re: Sardaukar?

    Postby Setzer » 05 Sep 2011 12:25

    "Go ahead, tell him all of it," the Baron said.
    "We'll move in strengthened by two legions of Sardaukar disguised in
    Harkonnen livery."
    "Sardaukar!" Feyd-Rautha breathed. His mind focused on the dread Imperial
    troops, the killers without mercy, the soldier fanatics of the Padishah Emperor.
    "You see how I trust you, Feyd," the Baron said. "No hint of this must ever
    reach another Great House, else the Landsraad might unite against the Imperial
    House and there'd be chaos."


    From the Glossary:

    LEGION, IMPERIAL: ten brigades (about 30,000 men).
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    Re: Sardaukar?

    Postby Serkanner » 05 Sep 2011 13:33

    Interesting ... that means there is an error in Dune.
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    Re: Sardaukar?

    Postby Demerzel » 05 Sep 2011 13:55

    To be a little optimistic, perhaps the figures do not comprise of just fighting Fremen? Yes so even Fremen kids can fight, but consider the raid of Tabr towards the end. I daresay there weren't many Sardaukar casualties there.
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    Re: Sardaukar?

    Postby A Thing of Eternity » 05 Sep 2011 14:44

    That's a valid point, the 5:1 ratio is almost certainly in a proper fight, but the total death toll would be including some slaughters as well.

    Also it is totally possible that FH biffed the math. He was not beyond making mistakes and I don't think math was his strong suite - I think he also messed up something about the dates involving the Emperor's birth and death? It's been a while since that was discussed so I can't remember clearly.
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    Re: Sardaukar?

    Postby Setzer » 05 Sep 2011 15:15

    Yeah, in my mind that was a simple numerical mistake on the part of the author.
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    Re: Sardaukar?

    Postby A Thing of Eternity » 05 Sep 2011 16:26

    Could be, there's also been a number of occasions where an error looked like the answer and then it turned out we'd just missed something (can't think of an example off the top of my head though). We definitely cannot blame it on a character's perspective being inaccurate because it was a mentat that came up with those figures - now that I look back at the quote in question it definitely says they lost 100,000 Sardaukar (Sardaukar specifically, not combined forces) but they were only supposed to have 60,000 (unless we have that number wrong, I'm not looking at text right now).

    I'm personally ruling that this looks like a mistake by FH until proven otherwise. It could have been bad math, or it could have been something lost in editing, like he originally had more Sardaukar on the plannet then reduced the number later and missed that one little quote in his revisions.

    Someone should glance at the UK comparsion copies and see if this is something FH edited in certain versions.
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    Re: Sardaukar?

    Postby Setzer » 05 Sep 2011 20:25

    Assuming the Five to One kill ratio includes the Sardaukar's pogrom against Fremen civilians (for lack of a better term) that would mean that the kill ratio would be even more skewed in favor of the Fremen if it were purely army on army.
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    Re: Sardaukar?

    Postby A Thing of Eternity » 06 Sep 2011 01:00

    Setzer wrote:Assuming the Five to One kill ratio includes the Sardaukar's pogrom against Fremen civilians (for lack of a better term) that would mean that the kill ratio would be even more skewed in favor of the Fremen if it were purely army on army.


    That's how I take that quote to mean, total deaths of Fremen vs total Sardaukar deaths. Which makes sense when compared to the other part where I believe it says some number of Fremen took out 1 or 2 hundred Sardaukar and lost less than a handful. I really need to read the quotes I'm talking about before posting though!
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    Re: Sardaukar?

    Postby SandChigger » 06 Sep 2011 17:52

    The "Terminology of the Imperium" is an in-universe document, so whenever the narrative text and the "glossary" disagree like this, the narrative takes precedence so long as it can be shown that what it says is not a printing error, etc. ;)
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