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Given that my chapter captain has yet to survive a single engagement, I’ve found myself debating if I should bother to build up additional fluff on the guy. As my DIY chapter (The Reconcilers) is a bit on the ‘Death is absolution’ side of things, maybe this is appropriate, but I really find myself wondering about a few things.
1.) How often does a chapter master snuff it? I’ve been keeping myself from fielding him for reasons like this.
2.) I’ve got a non-codex following chapter (they think ole Roboute failed to be with the Emperor when he was needed and thus consider his opinions irrelevant), but would the various companies within the chapter be seriously put out by the loss of their captain?
3.) Am I correct in my understanding that not every “killed” space marine on tabletop is actually /killed/?
Any help or suggestions you can offer on this, would be greatly appreciated.
And now for egotistical reasons…
Fates of Captains thus far (semi-fluffy)…
Brother Captain Alance: Hero of the Shenden plains, personally instrumental in the defeat of numerous xenos raiders and fetid witches of the so called “Samm-Hain craftworld” on Morrison 218, killed by same in a later urban engagement on Rycox Proxima. Cause of Death: Laceration by shuriken weaponry. Relic Remains conveyed to Cathedral Carrier.
Brother Captain Sterrek: Died in action against Dark Angels aggressors, responsible for death of enemy Interrogator-Chaplain at time of death. Cause of Dark Angels hostility, unknown. Cause of death: Blunt force trauma. Relic-Remains conveyed to cathedral carrier.
Brother Captain Kesh: Died in action against World Eaters traitor legion at hands of noted traitor Kharn. Cause of death: Presumed, Laceration by hand weaponry. Remains irretrievable, presumed incinerated in following Exterminatus.
Brother Captain Shell: Died in action against so called ‘Iyanden craftworld,’ at hands of psychically charged plastic construct <Reference Combat File ELDAR-22b-WRAITHLORD>. Cause of death: Blunt Force Trauma. Relic Remains conveyed to cathedral carrier.
Brother Captain Jenner: Died in action during the heroic defense of the ‘Derided Thing’ protecting elements of the 143rd Cadian and <CLASSIFIED BY INQUISITORIAL DECREE - 666> from its fell energies long enough to assure its destruction. Cause of exit from regular service: Basilisk Artillery round. Remains conveyed to Brother-Adept Aluxius for honored interment. Only in death does duty end.
1) Considering that the Chapter Master is most likely the strongest and most skilled Marine in the entire chapter as well as being a master of strategy and tactics, he is less and less likely to take personal command of his chapter, instead delegating tasks to lesser Captains or the Masters of the Companies if he so chooses. If a Chapter Master leads, it is likely to be from the back, coordinating the attacks of several different forces or companies but on those occasions when he does take to the field, he is likely to be given the best protection that the Chapter can forge (remember that in the grim darkness of the far future, Starcannons do not grow on trees!). So, the chances? Certainly less likely than the average Space Marine.
2) It depends. I believe that the Force Organisation Chart can be misleading when it comes to following the fluff but I'll say more on that later. Suffice it to say that the loss of the Company Master would be keenly felt whereas a lower-ranking Captain would affect the Marines under his command somewhat less. However, it's a testament to the skills of these heroes that Marines don't break when their commander dies; they keep fighting harder than ever in order to recover his body and take the objective.
3) That is correct. When they are removed as a casualty, it basically means that the model has been put out of action for whatever reason; they may have sustained an injury that means they are unable to keep moving even if they can still fire their weapon while lying prone. Heck, if you wanted to stretch it really far, they could have been knocked unconscious by the force of a battle cannon shell exploding near them. As we have learned in Rogue Trader (1st Edition 40K), battles can literally take forever if you want to split hairs over the extent to which a model was wounded so, for simplicity's sake, we just say that the Marine has suffered a wound and has been taken out of action.
As for the Force Organisation Chart, I believe it is misleading in the way it names the HQ choices as "Captain" and "Master". This has lead people to believe that a Captain represents a company Master and that a Master represents the Chapter Master. However, I think this is somewhat mistaken although there is nothing wrong with using the Master's profile to represent a Chapter Master. However, I prefer to think that Chapter Masters are not so common as to be only worth X amount of points and suggest a different interpretation of company organisation; that the Master profile actually represents the captain of a Space Marine company while the Captains beneath him represent commanders of individual battlegroups (like the ones we field in 40K), meaning that a Master usually takes personal command of his troops in primarily larger battles.
An easier way to think of this is to take a look at the Black Templar codex where the Commander HQ is given the names "Marshal" and "Castellan". In this case, the Marshal is the overall leader of the Crusade while the Castellans are subcommanders who lead individual battlegroups much in a similar fashion to the Captains of codex chapters.
I will say that I feel your pain about not surviving engagements. A buddy of mine were chatting the other night, and I'm not entirely sure that I have ever won a game of WH40k, in the 8 or so years on and off I've been playing. Hehe, at least it's good to know that I'm not in the game for the competitive nature of the hobby.
The thing to remember is that the fluff is not at all represented in the rules.. especially as regards marines. In the fluff, marines are angels of death who can storm a planet with 100 men and win. In the rules, they're just better guardsmen with bigger armour and higher stats. In Inquisitor, which tends to be good at bridging the the two worlds, they're some of the hardest things in the game. They can be hit by a lascannon and suffer minor burns.
Killing a marine is probably beyond the wildest thread of hope for most normal troops.. So, with that in mind, think of how much harder it must be to kill a chapter master, an elite marine with special equipment whose been fighting for hundreds of years.
The trouble is, in a game, the enemy has to be able to kill your chapter master.. otherwise it would just be 'oh.. you're playing marines, I lose.' This doesn't mean your chapter master dies every five minutes in the fluff.. indeed, in the fluff, marines don't really die that often at all.
Just suspend disbelief a little.. 40k the game is deliberately fair, but the 40k universe is massively, massively unfair.
On the issue of how companys would react to a commanders death.. Marines don't ever fall into disarray or anything like that, it's just not how they work. I'd imagine a Chaplain or Librarian would take over command. If the chapter is being so badly mauled that their are no officers, then the marines will probably revert to squad level management, as every marine has been hyno-indoctrinated on squad level tactics for years.
It's not exactly 'official', but look at how the marines react to captain Thule's death in DoW Dark Crusade. His body is evacuated recovered by thunderhawk for the honour of the chapter and the remaining marines, under direction of a chaplain, make a last stand until the area can be cleansed with orbital fire.
Last edited by The_Giant_Mantis; January 25th, 2007 at 22:21.