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Well, I came across a guy who has a beautiful marine army but. His chapter master was... A dreadnought. Is this possible? I mean, sure they have lots of experience etc, but could this be done? Personally I think its cool.
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Yeah. It's not been done in the official fluff, but it's possible. A defeated Chapter Master might be put in a dreadnought and then refuse to give up his command. Maybe the Chapter has a tech-fetish and view the Dreadnought as an ascended state.
The only hurdle to overcome is that Dreadnoughts are very often put into hibernation between battles, both to mitigate the extreme pain of their condition and to prevent them going insane or senile. A dreadnought Chapter Master may have an arrangement where the Captains run the chapter while he's asleep. (Bjorn, the oldest/greatest Dreadnought ever, assumes complete command over whatever army he's in by dint of his age and renown, but is only woken up in periods of dire emergency.)
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Mr_Wayne: "Some people believe that the World Eaters do not field any ranged weaponry. Those people often die at a distance."
It would probably also depend on how lucid the Chapter Master remained after his transformation - even in the fluff you have varying levels of displacement, some of them carry on with no ill effects, whereas others are stuck in the past or have trouble remaining focused outside of battle.
The Ultramarines Dreadnought Altarion was in command of an entire Ramilles star fort, and though he had the occasional slip of memory he was a more than capable commander.
Also, Techmarine Harkus of the Ultramarines was interred but remained able to carry out his duties in a modified forge, so presumably he remained able to work as normal (though his experiences as a Techmarine may have left him better prepared for the transition).
The Warmonger of the Word Bearers had a tendency to think he was refighting the battle for the Imperial Palace on Terra, but this may have been a result of the corrupting influence of Chaos and/or a coping mechanism for the traitor's failure and subsequent fall from grace, so he's not really a great example.
Whatever floats your boat really, the Codex Astartes is not followed 100% of the way. Space Wolves do no follow it and I believe the Black Templars are pretty odd in terms of chapter strength so maybe say that your chapter is special and has an exception in the way it is organised.
“When I give food to the poor, they call me a saint. When I ask why the poor have no food, they call me a Communist.”
The Iron Warrior limited edition book by Graham McNeill covered the beginnings of it all, but they are mainly in The Chapter's Due (to which Iron Warrior is a prequel).