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  1. #1
    Senior Member distortiondave's Avatar
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    Chain of Command

    Do company captains have a chain of command? For example, is the 10th company captain outranked by the 9th? Or do Battle Company captains have authority over reserve company captains? I assume the 1st Company Captain outranks all the others.

    What about Veteran Sergeants - do they outrank Chaplains, Librarians or other specialists? For example, if a Captain of a company died and they made a field promotion - would it be more likely to be a Chaplain or a Sergeant who gets promoted?

    Just wondering...

    I can't say I've seen it all but I live for the things that keep me hollow.

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  3. #2
    Knight-Champion chrispcarter's Avatar
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    Interesting question!

    Obviously, as with most things concerning Space Marines, the answers can vary from Chapter to Chapter, specially if it is a non-codex chapter.

    As far as I am aware, strictly speaking all the Captains are of equal standing under the Chapter Master. However, as is the case in almost any situation, an informal hierarchy will most likely develop.

    Space Marines (especially their commanders) should learn to respect their equals and shouldn't be too proud to seek those with greater experience - hence they would probably defer command to another Captain if they had greater experience pertaining to the matter at hand (whatever it may be). Obviously the 1st Company Captain will usually be the most experienced one, and often the Battle Company Captains will follow this - but this doesn't mean that it may not be otherwise.

    There are also ceremonial titles to take into account - for example regarding fleet actions then the Captain of the 4th Company would be the natural choice, however as Uriel Ventris demonstrated repeatedly in the Ultramarines novels, he wasn't too proud to defer to Lord Admiral Tiberius, as he knew he had more experience of ship warfare.

    Generally, it's an avenue you can explore in your fluff - whether your Captains operate as a finely coordinated unit or fight to prove themselves constantly is up to you, really.

    As for your second question, A Chaplain or Librarian would never become a Captain (in a Codex Chapter anyway) as they have specialised into another area, which is "to the side" of the command of the chapter (depsite the fact they will often lead their brothers into battle).

    Therefore, a Veteran Sergeant would almost always be the choice to replace a fallen Captain (as was the case with Uriel), unless a Captain from another company was transferred in to take his equal's vacated place (Captain Agemman of the Ultramarines commanded the 2nd Company before he took over the 1st, for example).

    As for a matter of pulling rank, Chaplains or Librarians can take command in a pinch but are more likely to act as advisors on matters pertaining to their specialties (faith, the warp etc) that tell a commander how to command their troops. It is more likely that a Veteran Sergeant would retain tactical command of the troops, while the Chaplain or Librarian 'did their thing' (charging in screaming catchetisms / reading the currents of the ether or whatever).

    After all, the Chaplain is trained to inspire the troops and preserve their faith, the Librarian to harness his powers to aid the battle brothers and maintain the chapter lore - the Sergeants and Captains are the ones who are trained to command, and it is their respective natural abilities in these areas that has put them in this role in the first place!

  4. #3
    Member YounGunner's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chrispcarter View Post
    As far as I am aware, strictly speaking all the Captains are of equal standing under the Chapter Master. However, as is the case in almost any situation, an informal hierarchy will most likely develop.
    Yeah, Captain is a rank so I'm sure that would be the case in most chapters based on experience and position. With reserve companies and some special character or elite units I imagine that units are assigned to other units for missions or campaigns. Then a Captain or adviser might answer to another Captain or someone who doesn't necessarily outrank him and is in charge of the area or operation but I'm sure they are all great professionals and just want to kill xenos so I imagine there aren't many problems with that.

  5. #4
    Inquisitorial Aspirant librisrouge's Avatar
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    From my experience the order goes like this:
    1. Chapter Master
    2. 1st Company Captain
    3. Battle Company Captain
    4. Reserve Company Captain (Unless within their specialty)
    5. Veteran Sergeants
    6. Veteran Marines (those with most experience)
    7. Battle Brothers
    8. Scout Sergeants
    9. Scouts
    10. Servitors
    11. That thing they found under their boot after leaving the drop pod
    12. THE ENEMY COMMANDER
    13. Chaplains, Librarians, Tech-Marines, and Apothecaries (Unless within their specialty or given specific command by a superior)

    It's in that order...

    Even marines tend to distrust those different than themselves. Often the relationship between a marine and specialist is similar to a guardsman and an enginseer, sanctioned psyker, or imperial priest.


    P.S. Was I the only one hoping the answer would be "the chain I beat you with until you listen to my commands?"
    'An open mind is like a fortress with its walls unguarded and its gates wide open' -Blood Ravens

  6. #5
    Set Sail and Conquer! Cadaver Junkie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by librisrouge View Post
    From my experience the order goes like this:
    1. Chapter Master
    2. 1st Company Captain
    3. Battle Company Captain
    4. Reserve Company Captain (Unless within their specialty)
    5. Veteran Sergeants
    6. Veteran Marines (those with most experience)
    7. Battle Brothers
    8. Scout Sergeants
    9. Scouts
    10. Servitors
    11. That thing they found under their boot after leaving the drop pod
    12. THE ENEMY COMMANDER
    13. Chaplains, Librarians, Tech-Marines, and Apothecaries (Unless within their specialty or given specific command by a superior)

    It's in that order...

    Even marines tend to distrust those different than themselves. Often the relationship between a marine and specialist is similar to a guardsman and an enginseer, sanctioned psyker, or imperial priest.


    P.S. Was I the only one hoping the answer would be "the chain I beat you with until you listen to my commands?"

    Heh, nice point!

    Athough as an aside, I would've thought that scout sergeants would be up there with all the other veteran sergeants - the scouts themselves may be fresh requits, but the sergeants leading them are typically veterans of many campaigns.
    "Pickles, the drummer, doodily doo. (Ding-dong, doodily, doodily, doo.)"

    Also, you should google "garfield minus garfield". Awesome.

  7. #6
    Inquisitorial Aspirant librisrouge's Avatar
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    I suppose that depends on the chapter. I know that in the most recent codex they have terminator honors so you'd be right, but in some previous fluff, and for certain chapters, scout sergeants are just more experienced scouts that haven't been advanced to other companies yet. Remember, companys are kept at 100 men regardless of scouts waiting for advancement. A lot of low casualty campaigns (it has to happen sometimes) may result in a scout with more experience that some battle brothers who just hasn't found a hole to fill in a company yet.
    'An open mind is like a fortress with its walls unguarded and its gates wide open' -Blood Ravens

  8. #7
    qsd
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    Archmagos qsd's Avatar
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    Chaplains, Techmarines, Librarians, etc.:
    I think they could be considered to be around possibly Reserve Captain level (Except for the head ones like Master of Sanctity, Master of the Forge, etc. who are probably more like 1st Captain) in terms of authority.
    However, in practice they don't really give out orders except when the matter is their speciality or when they're designated as a force commander.
    As for who gives them orders, I would say that officially it be superior members of their group, and the Chapter Master. Unofficially, they probably defer to Captains, and Vet. Sergeants who are given command of the mission.


    Strange fluff... I think it makes sense that veterans would be picked to train recruits (since that's what Scout Sergeants do), instead of recruits with more experience than the others.
    Last edited by qsd; April 24th, 2008 at 06:32.
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  9. #8
    Set Sail and Conquer! Cadaver Junkie's Avatar
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    Well, I know that the blood angels and dark angels have always had their most experienced sergeants leading the scout squads - this was mentioned in the old 'angels of death' codex, which is a 2nd edition codex.

    I'm pretty sure the ultramarines are the same.
    "Pickles, the drummer, doodily doo. (Ding-dong, doodily, doodily, doo.)"

    Also, you should google "garfield minus garfield". Awesome.

  10. #9
    Knight-Champion chrispcarter's Avatar
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    That's the way I'd always seen it - Scouts are supposed to learn from their more experienced Sergeants like a pupil teacher relationship.

  11. #10
    Junior Member Warden's Avatar
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    I believe some scout's actually choose whether or not they want to continue to serve in the scout companies. Which would explain the veteran sergeant leading the squads as this would be where he would naturally be appointed to because of his experience in the scout type of warfare.

    As for Chaplains and Librarians, they are really specialists ,at least within a codex chapter, think of the Chaplain as a Commisar in power armour, with enough restraint not to blow away his wards when they mess up. The Librarian more of a counselor, some one wise to have around, who can hurl bolts of lightning at xeno scum!!!!! But I am sure it is sometimes prudent to put these guys in charge since it takes a tougher kinda of marine to make both of them, but it also depends on there experience.

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