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View Full Version : How much authority do GKs have?



The Guy
24-11-2007, 13:48
Ok just thinking.
Let's say GK brother Boris and his squad go out to some planet where a daemonic infestation is. Boris is just your bog standard GK in power armour. All of his squad dies and his the last one left bla bla bla before PDF forces come and save him.
Let's make it worse and say all comunications to anywhere else [except on the planet] has been cut.
Who would take charge of defending the planet?
Boris?
Or the big leader dude of the planet/PDF?
Let's take into account that Boris has the know how to handle daemons and stuff.
Or would Boris become the advisor to the leader dude?

Marstfu
24-11-2007, 14:16
Big Bad Boris is there, taller then everyone else, capable of killing everyone else.. I'd assume that the PDF would follow him.

But he'd probably just advise the leader.

burning crome
24-11-2007, 14:28
All SM are like gods to normal humans, but the GK will want to charge in to battle not plan out a campain.

Pilgrim
24-11-2007, 15:14
The normal chains of command will still be operating, meaning that the Planetary Defence Force will be operating under their own commanders.

Adeptus Astartes forces are a seperate military organisation, and have their own command structure. In the case of both being present (such as the situation you give) the two forces would operate quasi-independantly. That is to say that there is going to be co-operation and joint planning but the Planetary Defence Force and the Adeptus Astartes do not have authority to order each other around.

This can obviously be broken under certain circumstances, such as an Imperial crusade, where standard practice is to largely subsume command under a supreme commander who will co-ordinate Imperial Navy, Imperial Army, Adeptus Astartes, and whatver other troops may be involved. There is also a situation where one force is left without a functioning chain of command, in which case it is going to be temporarily attached to one that does (such as if an Imperial Army group had its leadership killed in a headhunting assault, they would take either revert to standing orders, or take commands from elsewhere)
Exactly what the procedure is in this case is uncertain (as in, how authority is decided). I consider it likely that the Imperial Army command structure would usually take priority in extreme circumstances, given that they are usually the primary fighting force and therefore responsible for the majority of strategic planning. In other situations I would assume it runs on an operation by operation basis, with command falling to the officer(s) in charge of the particular mission (although if an Imperial expedition is being badly mauled enough that large swathes are being left with no commanders then it is more likely that they would temporarily pull back, either off-world or to staging areas, to await reinforcement).

Returning to your original situation then, Brother Boris has no chain of command left, the remaining Grey Knights and Inquisitorial support/command have been destroyed. He is temporarily stranded on the planet and is therefore going to put himself at the disposal of the primary functioning Imperial military force on-planet (in this case, the PDF).
Overall command of the sitation is going to fall to the PDF commanders, although they are almost certainly going to employ Brother Boris in the capacity of a military advisor, given his greater expertise with current concerns.
He is not really going to be risked in combat, given his value as an advisor with special information on the daemonic threats being faced. He is going to be sitting back at PDF headquarters, helping the staff there with strategic planning and tactical advice.

Once (or if) Grey Knights or the Inquisition show up (which is likely if there is an ongoing daemonic infestation that has already destroyed one Inquisitorial expedition) then he would revert to taking orders from them, and would be subsumed into their force (although very likley he would also spend some time briefing them on the situation and aiding co-ordination with the PDF).

Adrian

Gorbad Ironclaw
24-11-2007, 15:22
Another thing to consider is that most would never have head of the Grey Knights. The Imperium is not keen on anyone knowing Demons even exist, so they wouldn't know anything about a dedicated anti-demon force.

Space Marines might know about it, but guard and local PDF forces are very unlikely to know anything about them.

Sojourner
24-11-2007, 15:32
It's likely that Brother Boris would have little to no inclination to assume command over anyone. Even if he ultimately is the best man for the job, he's unlikely to do so since his mind simply isn't capable of the egotism required for a theatre-level commander. Only a small proportion of space marines - even Grey Knights - will have the shrewdness and the inclination to command others not of their blood; and even a Chapter Master is very much a tactical commander as opposed to strategic. Boris' tactical thinking is likely to be along these lines:

i) Evaluate whether Boris can handle the threat on his own. If he can, do so.
ii) If Boris cannot handle the threat alone; fall back and attempt to re-establish contact with the Ordo Malleus.

...with very little room for improvisation.

Pilgrim
24-11-2007, 15:43
Another thing to consider is that most would never have head of the Grey Knights. The Imperium is not keen on anyone knowing Demons even exist, so they wouldn't know anything about a dedicated anti-demon force.

Space Marines might know about it, but guard and local PDF forces are very unlikely to know anything about them.

Although one would assume that, if there was an actual daemonic attack going on, that at least the higher level commanders of the PDF would be informed of the presence of the Grey Knights. That would entail at least a brief rundown of both the nature of the threat that's being faced (at its heart "those daemons that you sometimes hear about in the religious myths... they're real, and they're attacking this planet") and the Inquisitorial forces that have just shown up (along the basic lines of "and these are the Grey Knights, the fighting arm of the Inquisition, they are here to kill the daemons I mentioned earlier").
It is all very well, and indeed very justifiable, to keep knowledge of the daemonic secret in normal circumstances. If there is a daemonic incursion going on, however, then it makes little sense to try and keep up the charade.

There are a couple of older stories off the top of my head that support this. One is in a old White Dwarf issue (If I remember right, it was the one where the original Grey Knights were released), where a planetary governor not only has the requisitie knowledge of the Inquisition and the daemonic, but is the one to put out a call for the aid of Grey Knights.
The second is in Codex Imperialis from 2nd edition. That has an Inquisitor briefing a force of Space Marines on imminent daemonic attack while they sit in a defensive position. Once again, the commander has at least heard of daemons (although given his reaction, it seems to be very much in the form of legend).

It seems fairly likely that some of the high-level authorities on the planet (or in a given military organisation) would be given the necessary information, if only so that in the unfortunate event of a daemonic incursion, there is someone around who can recognise what is going on and alert the relevant authorities.
I do agree, though, that it is something that is going to be kept secret from the vast majority of people, both civilians and troops of all kinds.

Adrian

Cry of the Wind
24-11-2007, 20:25
All Grey Knight leaders are mentioned as being charismatic indivduals who have a commanding presence that causes others to follow them. That's from the DH Codex. Now in the case of our poor lost Brother Boris, I think it is likely he'd have some of those qualities in him as well.

With that in mind I think it would be reasonable to assume that he would help advise on the battle if not in the strategic sense at least on the more tactical side, like "tell your men to chant these lines over and over becasue they really do provide protection" and so on. I could see him then going out to meet the greatest threats personally much the way a Grand Master or Inquisitor Lord would risk themselves in the climatic battle against the centre of the daemonic incursion.

Spacewolves vs Thousandsons
26-11-2007, 15:33
technically arent the grey knights part of the inquisition

also all grey knights are trained to kill demons, granted justicars and captains have more experience or may know how to banish a certain demon because they fought it once before

but yeah id say that he would probably advise them, at least until the inquisition wonders why they havent heard from the GK that they sent to whatever planet it is and send reinforcements but if reinforcements didnt show up boris would eventually have to fight the greater demon, if he survives he may be promoted to the rank of justicar and given his own squad

Slaaneshi Slave
26-11-2007, 15:56
Grey Knights have no authority within the Imperium, Grey Knights do no exist.

The Guy
26-11-2007, 16:31
Grey Knights have no authority within the Imperium, Grey Knights do no exist.

Well neither do daemons..which means the daemonhunters don't exists...which means that ordo malleus inquisitors do not exist...and they have authority to induct SM and IG into their force...

Brother Loki
26-11-2007, 16:32
Although its unlikely that most commanders know about the Grey Knights, they certainly know about the Astartes, even if they've never seen them. I would suspect that Boris, like any member of the legendary Astartes, would be accorded a great deal of respect, and while not having 'technical' authority over anyone, speaks with the voice of a couple of centuries of experience and a detailed knowledge of the threat at hand. Anyone but a total fool would at the very least listen to his advice, whether or not they put him in a command role.

The_Patriot
26-11-2007, 16:43
Grey Knights have no authority within the Imperium, Grey Knights do no exist.

First rule of Grey Knights: You do not talk about Grey Knights.
Second Rule of Grey Knights: You do not talk about Grey Knights.

Finnith
26-11-2007, 16:43
Alot of your questions depend on what kind of planet is. Hive world with a good level of guard recruitment would be alot more organised and have a better level of troops than an agri world in the back end of nowhere but still was important due to the food produced.

Being part of the inquisition he would have powers to order people around directly, no matter what their station. The big "I" on his armour combined with kickass equipment and the general aura of awesome would probably get the slack jawed yocals which make up a pdf regiment (all the good ones go off to join the Guard) do whatever he said. Chances are these guys wouldnt be told about the inquisition since they are locals and could be the source of the problem in the first place.

If there was a guard unit present on the planet then the commander would have been told that theres crack inquisitorial troops operating on the planet along with Space Marines. They dont need to know what those space marines specialise in, just that they are there.

Theres a big distinction between guard and pdf with regards to quality, training and equipment.

From reading the Cain books commissars tasks include liaising between PDF/Guard/SM/Inquisitors, without someone with ties to the other group it would be hard to get anything done. Theres also the problem of rank. A SM sergeant could have a hundred years+ fighting experience while an officer in the guard would have alot less but be a higher rank.

My money would be on the GK buggering off and doing his job rather than messing around with a bunch of pdf people who will crack as soon as they realise what they are fighting or end up making things worse by trying and failing to help.

Slaaneshi Slave
26-11-2007, 17:04
Well neither do daemons..which means the daemonhunters don't exists...which means that ordo malleus inquisitors do not exist...and they have authority to induct SM and IG into their force...

Now you're getting it...

Daemon_hunter
26-11-2007, 17:57
there'd be alot of confusion as the PDF saw an Astartees of a chapter they didn't recongnise , now since the Inquisition keeps all knowledge of the grey knights, chaos marrines etc suppressed the pdf would just likely go Ah an arstaries from a new chapter and act accordingly

superknijn
26-11-2007, 18:27
Aren't the Grey Knights very solitary?
I'd expect every communication to be with an Inquisitor, as I really can't see a situation of the Grey Knights being employed alongside Guardsman without an Inquisitor nearby.

jfrazell
26-11-2007, 18:33
No authority. They don't exist. If you think they exist you're already dead and just don't know it :eek:

Spacewolves vs Thousandsons
26-11-2007, 21:09
yes the inquisition does not exist, they are a myth and nothing more (those who talk to much disapeer or end up with a bullet to the head)

Khaine's Messenger
27-11-2007, 00:35
Who would take charge of defending the planet?

Under circumstances such as these, standard chain of command means all of jack and poop. Since a Grey Knight is a spiritual powerhouse and can make veteran Ecclesiarchs **** their pants while making some daemons scream in pain just by being near him, I imagine Boris will be a saint in a few generations if he manages to survive with a few of his new PDF cannon fodder troupe intact (hey, if Cain can be a saint...).

Seriously, when Space Marines talk, anyone who hasn't spent their life in a position to know the human frailties of Space Marines will probably defer to his decisions whether he wants them to or not, especially when the chips are down. He's a walking holy relic, and probably just as damned to die as a Grail Knight who's attracted one too many pilgrim aides...albeit a tad more survivable.


Or would Boris become the advisor to the leader dude?

That depends on how big into the traditional humbleness of the Grey Knights Boris is. It's a young tradition....

zerachiel
27-11-2007, 01:03
Brother Boris will most likely either run off to find a way to contact his superiors, charge off to go avenge his brothers (probably not very successfully), do both, or kill everyone in visual range to keep his presence secret, and then do one or both of the above.

From all the extremes the Inquisition go through to conceal their actions (they sentence entire regiments that they conscript to death or death camps as a habit, afterall), I'd say even if good ol' Boris doesn't have the heart to kill everything in sight (yeah, right) an Inquisitor will come around to see to it that everyone who may or may not know about him ends up missing, for their own good.

But if Boris is a young and hospitable fellow (they must've really went wrong with his training, then...), he just could go about leading a group of PDF. Though, PDF tend to not be very reliable (unlike Chaos Cultists...). It's unlikely anybody has heard of the Grey Knights, though. They do things in secret, and the Inquisition is not an organization that tries to tell you beforehand that they're teleporting a dozen supermen down to your planet to hack their way through a billion warp creatures and chop a big daemon or two. It's very unlikely that they'd even know of the daemonic infestation, if the Inquisition sent only one group of Knights, instead of their standard "go go power armour fodder! -2 minutes later- Okay Terminator guys, I think you people should be fine teleporting down: the daemonic masses should be reduced to about 30 gajillion by now", it's probably not world-breaking yet.

thearchiver
27-11-2007, 01:57
I’m more inclined to think that loss of comms would be something that GK combat protocols deals with rather well. And that in the event of loss of comms with the transport vessel there would be a set of pick up locations already set down in the battle plan to be used if communication and or teleport options were cut.

Brother Boris just needs to go walkies, I can’t see it being that hard for him to leave a pdf camp when he wants to, either nicely or other wise. Gets picked up by the thunderhawk at the designated location, and then calls in fire support at the camp that saw him, or gets an inquisitorial “clean up crew” to deal with it in one of their many ways of dealing with things.

Mr Carrot
27-11-2007, 02:10
The inquisition is not an unknown entity - its individual arms, ultmiate goals, methods, members and operating practices are of course secret. However it is a well known and importantly well feared organisation with the ability to exercise ultimate authority if it sees fit.

Surely, if grey knights do not have the full blown ordo malleus inqusitorial rank (which some may have, as some space marines do become inquisitors) - they would obviously all be provided with a valid inquisitorial seal with authorisation nearly up to that of a full blown inquisitor.

i.e. the seal upon verification from whatever plot device the planetary governor has at hand (see Eisenhorn for more on that...) would give Brother Bob more than enough authority to take command of all military forces on the planet if he so wished.

Inquisitorial power seems to be limitless on a planetary level - however it is hindered somewhat in the mid- to long term. Review by your superiors of your actions in all cases you are deemed to have exceeded your internal inquisitorial authority. E.g. in Xenology the red flag went up about the rogue inquisitor because he used his inquisitorial authority to effectively requisition himself governorship of a planet. Of course he could do it as his power in the eyes of the normal institutions of the imperium is unlimited BUT the inquisition has its own intneral mechanisms to police the use of this authority and create an unofficial cap on it based on internal rank. e.g. Eisenhorn though being quite a senior inqusitor never rely oversteps his mark inorder to not bring attention to himself.

Back to the point at hand, Bob would use his seal/rosette etc. to get the job done/requisition a space ship etc. and this use would then be post reviewed by the ordo malleus. owing to the superlative track record of the grey knights this will probably be passed over.

Spacewolves vs Thousandsons
27-11-2007, 17:59
im still confused as to the communications being cut is that just from planet to his ship or are the astropaths dead as well
if the later of the two is the case boris would be on his own but losing all contact with a planet usually draws alot of suspicion and the inquisition would send more than a single squad of GK to investigate and possibly an inquisitor as well or the nearest SM chap would be sent in to investigate and if said demon infestation gets to bad they may just blow up the planet

kishvier
27-11-2007, 18:08
They are the Inquisition! They are the authority!

Daemon_hunter
27-11-2007, 18:12
they're not the inquisition. grey knights are a space marine chapter in their own right, they're just very secretive and have a tendency to work with the ordo malleus becuase it's beneficial to them

Clockwork-Knight
27-11-2007, 18:57
Brother Boris (or Bob, to his friends, who do not exist) doesn't have an Inquisitorial seal or rosseta. He's not here to impersonate any Inquisitor. He was sent there to crush daemons. He's a living weapon of utter destruction. He isn't part of the retinue either. He's part of the weapon's system that the Inquisitor employed. :p

The pestilent 1
27-11-2007, 20:47
Grey Knights have no authority within the Imperium, Grey Knights do no exist.

This always struck me as odd.

Grand master: "I am here to requisition an imperial guard task force to strike at the thrice cursed World of Skalathraxadoodle IV!"

Imperial commander: "... Who the Hell are you?"

I ain't buying the 'They know nothing' Gig.
They must know, even if it's "If a big silvery guy comes up one day telling you something about Thrice cursed this and hell-spawned that do what he says".

Slaaneshi Slave
27-11-2007, 20:49
The Inquisitorial Mandate people know, Grey Knights people do not know.

Besides Grey Knights can't requisition things, just like other Marines technically can't. Its the Inquisitors who can.

Chaplain Dionitas
27-11-2007, 20:51
All they need to do is take one look at the big " I " on their armor and that would usually shut any PDF pogue up.

Spacewolves vs Thousandsons
29-11-2007, 17:43
Well if he were say a brother-captain acting as a proxy for the inquisition he could potentially requisition help if he needed some meat sheilds

but for poor stranded brother boris he wont have such good luck getting the help he needs

Slaaneshi Slave
29-11-2007, 21:44
I’m more inclined to think that loss of comms would be something that GK combat protocols deals with rather well. And that in the event of loss of comms with the transport vessel there would be a set of pick up locations already set down in the battle plan to be used if communication and or teleport options were cut.


Standard operating procedures for any army worth its name in ****. You have contingency plans if your plans fail. You have secondard contingency plans if your primary contingency plans fail, and you have tertiary contingency plans if your primary and secondary contingency plans fall through.

Pooky
29-11-2007, 22:11
I reckon they would both work togther. Not so much "I am the boss, you do as I say". It would be more that they play on their relative strenghts. Boris obviously needs to be in the fray slaying daemons and the PDF leader needs to co-ordinate his troops. There would probably be a relay between Boris and the leader saying where they think the best use of force is necessary.

Quentin
29-11-2007, 22:32
I think Boris would probably fill the role of SPARTAN.

In Halo, John-117 is a Super-soldier similiar to a Space Marine in some respects, and operates mostly by himself, directed by specific mission objectives. However, when other friendly forces are in need of assistance in his direct area, he has discretion to support them until they are capable of holding thier own or evac is available.

Once they are safe, John continues with his own mission.

I think this is how Boris would operate. Not as an advisor, or an actual leader, but rather as a sole Inquisition agent who has complete discretion in how his mission is accomplished.

EDIT: Also, if Boris felt the necessity, he could probably "induct" a PDF squad unofficially whilst in the field, after saving them.

Basically, "I saved your ass. Now you can do something for me, sergeant..."

thearchiver
29-11-2007, 23:30
Standard operating procedures for any army worth its name in ****. You have contingency plans if your plans fail. You have secondard contingency plans if your primary contingency plans fail, and you have tertiary contingency plans if your primary and secondary contingency plans fall through.

And you dont think thats what I ment by standard combat protocol??
Back up plans are normall procedure for any sort of battle plan.

Taipan
30-11-2007, 03:28
Grey Knight Brother-Captains and Grandmasters can requisition local forces (its how their codex works after all), but its unusal (Inquisitor, being normal humans, are far better at the liason work with other Imperial armies). Mostley, the Grey Knights show up, kick ass and then dissapear. They don't hang around long enough to care who helps them, they just make sure the daemonic threat has been purged. Cleanup is generally left to Inquisitors and Arbites (and Inquisitonal Stormtroopers).

Space Marines can't become Inquisitors, because they are Space Marines.

Deathwatch have a similiar command structure to the Ordo Malleus. While Inquisitors usually call the shots and requisition forces, sometimes the local Kill-team doesn't have time to report back, only time to grab a few Regiments and start purging the xenos. In those extreme circumstances (like a Genestealer infestation), the Deathwatch Captain/Codicier can requisition any and all local forces like an Inquisitor. Generally speaking though, for both Orders, its the Inquisitors who do the commanding, and the Chamber Militant who do the killing.