PDA

View Full Version : Space Marines and the Imperial chain of command



Corax
24-06-2010, 17:40
I'm curious about the relationship between the Adeptus Astartes and the Imperial military chain of command. How does it work?

I ask this because in the book "Courage and Honour", Uriel Ventris (Ultramarines 4th Co. Captain) decides that he is going to blow up a series of bridges in the city of Olzetyn on Pavonis, but the Imperial Guard (Captain) and PDF (Colonel) officers object. Ventris pretty much overrules them on the spot and does it anyway.

So, my question is, if the Space Marines operate outside the normal Imperial chain of command (being independent of all other Imperial institutions), how and when are they able to take command of other Imperial forces? Does a Space Marine Captain outrank any IG officer? What about a Sergeant? What about a Battle Brother (if no officers are around)? Are all SMs above the IG chain of command, rather than outside it? How does it all fit together? Thoughts?

spetswalshe
24-06-2010, 18:21
They're completely separate, AFAIK. I imagine the vast majority of Guard commanders will accede to a Space Marine commander's wishes ('Send your men to capture this point when we disable the perimeter defences,'), but officially I don't think they actually have to. They're special forces, after all - it'd be like an SAS Lieutenant explaining the plan for the Western Front to a Field Marshal.

edit; to more directly answer your question - officially I don't think a Battle Brother would have any seniority over Guardsmen, just like a Storm Trooper Private wouldn't. I would expect an SM commander to take control of Guard units only in an emergency (similar to how we could expect an Ecclesiarchy or AdMech official to take control), or when agreed upon by the Guard commanders (for example, a Space Marine commander being given control over a Crusade or the defence of a world or hive). In reality, though, I'd expect when a Space Marine tells a mortal to do something, he does it - a Marine himself is going to respect the Guard command structure enough that a Brother will not be dictating tactics to a General, but he might dictate spur-of-the-moment commands in extreme situations (for example, the General's bunker is attacked while the SM happens to be in it; he might organise a counter-assault to get the General staff out safely).

Sir_Turalyon
24-06-2010, 18:23
Which chain of command? Imperial military organisations are divided into Navy, Guard, Marines, Skiitari, Sisters of Battle and private armies - most often all of these are separate, to the level of having separate chains of command. They coordinate eighter by liasoning (navy officers in guard armies) or estabilishing supreme commander of all forces on the planet just for that purpose.

So no, marines normaly don't have do bother with Guard/PDF chain of command. Unless they agree on having a common commander (marine commander agrees to bother giving orders to guard) , it's "Just be glad to have us on the same planet".

While the chains of command are apart, in fiction depicting both Guard and Marines Guard junior officers adress marine seregants as superiors. It's probably more matter of respect and inspiration than actual authority - not unlike how comissars work in theory. Bear in mind that marine chapters are small enough to treat all fighting members as officer equivalent (like pilots of air forces). A lone marine could probably assume command of leaderless squad or few without objections, seregants are adressed as "sir" by lieutenants and their squad it at least equivalent of Guard platoon, captains usualy command all marines on the planet, their company being an army in it's own right, answer only to Chapter Master (which usualy meanson one can pull rank on them).

I would be puting battle-brothers authority as similiar of seregant's/lieutenants, brother-seregant as captain/major equivalent (meaning a major mayt have enough guts to protest about seregant's action to brother-captain). Brother captain is highest ranking marine on the planet.

Corax
24-06-2010, 18:59
I don't know if you guys have read the book in question, but Ventris pretty much takes over command of the whole operation on the planet (while fighting at the front line at the same time :rolleyes: ), with all of the Guard, PDF, and AdMech forces doing what he tells them to. It maybe that they are are all obeying him out of respect for his status as a Captain of an illustrious Space Marine chapter (who has over 100 years of battlefield experience), but there are several times where other officers disagree with him and he overrules them in a manner that would suggest command superiority; hence my original question.

Sir_Turalyon
24-06-2010, 19:41
I assume he just took command by personality and audacity, using respect of others as leverage. Most of all, joint force of marines / guard / pdf / AdMech would need a single leader to coordinate their actions; without common chain of command they eighter need to formaly elect one or one just assumes the position and others run with it. Marine captain is a natural candidate to just take over with others falling into the line - probably there was no non-marine officer with enough reputation, authority and assertiveness to stand up to Ventris. If Guard was commanded by hero of the Imperium (Macharius or some other legendary commander, legendary Comissar Lord, captain from other chapter, lesser Inquisitor), the two would eighter meet or liase to ostabilish which one is in charge, split responsibilities or agreed they act independently. Anyway, marines captain is free to do what he likes with his charge, including blowing up bridges he finds annoying- and Guard is free to object. However, marine can't order Guard to participate - if Guard officers had balls and manpower, they could object by withdrawing their support to marines, refusing them access to Guard resurces and so on. But if Guard officers think they are screwed without marine help and have no personality to back their objections with a good bluff, marines are free to act as they like and all guard can do is file objections while helping them.

I think of marines as gunslinger in a western defending a frontier town from bandits - he does not have to be here, he owns nothing to townspeople so if they want his skills on their side, they need eighter impress him to make him play by their rules, or play by his rules for a time being. If his rules require their supply of whisky and preacher's daughter they can protest, but in the end it's them who need him, not other way around.

Green-is-best
24-06-2010, 20:50
Well, a marine sergeant has probably got a solid 20 years of combat experience on a junior Imperial Guard officer, so of course they show some deference. Any smart junior officer in an infantry outfit knows you show senior NCOs a lot of respect, even if they're not of your branch. An experienced NCO is going to know a lot more about combat and a lot more about leadership then some butter bar right out of OCS. I'm sure that effect is amplified when you're talking about a space marine, given the various religious connotations associated with them.

spetswalshe
24-06-2010, 21:21
I don't know if you guys have read the book in question, but Ventris pretty much takes over command of the whole operation on the planet (while fighting at the front line at the same time :rolleyes: ), with all of the Guard, PDF, and AdMech forces doing what he tells them to. It maybe that they are are all obeying him out of respect for his status as a Captain of an illustrious Space Marine chapter (who has over 100 years of battlefield experience), but there are several times where other officers disagree with him and he overrules them in a manner that would suggest command superiority; hence my original question.

BL fiction is notoriously inconsistent. I've no doubt there are also numerous mentions of combined-arms Guard regiments (when numerous sources point out that armour, aircraft and the like are just temporarily seconded to appropriate fighting forces, in order to limit potential rebellion; a traitor general of a purely tank or infantry regiment is significantly easier to defeat than one who commands both tanks and infantry), Guard officers commanding Navy ships, Commissars drawn from the same homeworld as a regiment, Guardsmen modifying equipment without receiving a binary talking-to by an Enginseer, Guardsmen firing Marine weapons without losing the use of their thumbs, that kind of thing.

It's best just to assume there are special circumstances; certainly the Ultramarine's reputation preceeds them, and even in the military using a strong, confident voice and acting like you're in charge will usually get results.

AndrewGPaul
24-06-2010, 22:22
a traitor general of a purely tank or infantry regiment is significantly easier to defeat than one who commands both tanks and infantry)

It's highly likely that an Imperial Guard General would be commanding a mixed force of artillery, infantry and armour. A single regiment is commanded by a colonel, and a General is a sufficiently high rank to be commanding multiple regiments.

Other than that, the novels are reasonably consistent about keeping Navy aircraft separate from Guard ground forces (Except in Double Eagle, and that was deliberate, not an oversight).

FabricatorGeneralMike
24-06-2010, 22:41
It seems to work this way, when a planet is invaded astropaths send out a distress call while the local PDF tries to contain the situation.

Whoever recieves the call will act on it if they have the athority, or if they don't it will be 'sent up the chain of command' until someone with the athority can act up it.

Units within a 10 light-year radius will be mobilized by the Departmento Munitorum with whatever units are around. If any other imperial forces are around like SM, ad-mech, Sob's, =][=, and they wish to help they can with said forces also. Altho the above usually doesn't help out unless it co-insides with there mission/objective. If the above force can't deal with the disturbance, then they go another 10 LY out and keep on adding forces. If they need something specific like titans, they petition the Ad-Mech. If fighting chaos or daemons cue the Ordo Malleus.

SM usually are a self contained army and not under direct control of who-ever is in charge or this battle force. They can make there own missions, they have their own supply lines, materials, tanks etc etc. The goal is to return the planet to imperial control, altho there mission might not be that. Read the 3rd Soul Drinker book 'Crimson Tears' it shows what a marine army can do when left to its own devices ;)

Now this changes when you get into something like a crusade or sector wide warzone. Then everyone has to play politics and atleast 'pretend' to play nice together.

Remember you have to toss in heaps of 'poloticing' ,infighting, snubs, insults and the like or it just isn't 40k.

I hope that helped a little =o]

Lord_Crull
24-06-2010, 22:44
I don't know if you guys have read the book in question, but Ventris pretty much takes over command of the whole operation on the planet (while fighting at the front line at the same time :rolleyes: ), with all of the Guard, PDF, and AdMech forces doing what he tells them to.

I'm not sure you've read the book actually. Ventris does not take command over all the forces. He makes suggestions and mostly leaves frontline command of the Guard to Winterborne and Loric. He rarely, if ever gives direct commands to Guard soldiers in the field.

Karl MkVI
25-06-2010, 01:05
I'm not sure you've read the book actually. Ventris does not take command over all the forces. He makes suggestions and mostly leaves frontline command to Winterborne and Loric. He rarely, if ever gives command to Guard soldiers in the field.

...ouch...

Lord_Crull
25-06-2010, 02:35
...ouch...

I meant no offense. I was simply confused were he was getting these ideas from.

Green-is-best
25-06-2010, 05:14
I meant no offense. I was simply confused were he was getting these ideas from.

I'm curious, are related to Graham McNiell? Perhaps the man himself? You seem peculiarly defensive about this particular book and the Fire and Honor comic.

Marshal2Crusaders
25-06-2010, 05:51
He's an Ultramarine player. I'd get defensive if the OP started talking about how the entire defense of Hive Helsreach was frequently thrown through a loop at the whim of a newly promoted chaplain ;) .

Lord_Crull
25-06-2010, 17:15
I'm curious, are related to Graham McNiell? Perhaps the man himself? You seem peculiarly defensive about this particular book and the Fire and Honor comic.

Nope, not at all. I am not related in any way shape or form to him. I simply like the books and argue against what I see as mistakes or willful ignorance of certain aspects of the book itself.

Green-is-best
25-06-2010, 17:22
Nope, not at all. I am not related in any way shape or form to him. I simply like the books and argue against what I see as mistakes or willful ignorance of certain aspects of the book itself.

Fair enough, thanks for the clarification. :)

Corax
25-06-2010, 21:45
I'm not sure you've read the book actually. Ventris does not take command over all the forces. He makes suggestions and mostly leaves frontline command of the Guard to Winterborne and Loric. He rarely, if ever gives direct commands to Guard soldiers in the field.

:confused:

My read of the book was that Ventris let Winterbourne and Loic do most of the detail work our of courtesy, but reserved the right to take over at any time he felt the need to do something different to what they wanted to do. He was fine with letting them command their units in whatever manner they saw fit, but he was the overall co-ordinator of the operation with the final say over strategy.

I cite the example of the blowing up of the bridges in Olzetyn:



"We will not be be retasking anyone from the Imperator bastions. The bastions will be reinforced and every other bridge will be destroyed. If we try and hold the southern bridge we will fail and the flank of the Imperator will be turned. The Tau know the other bridges are the key to the defence of Olzetyn. Truth be told, we should have destroyed them as soon as fighting started."

"Destroy the bridges?" said Loic. "But they have stood for centuries! We can't!"

"The decision has already been made, colonel," said Uriel. "I am not here to debate the point, merely to inform you of your new orders. We cannot continue fighting like this. We need this to happen now or we are lost." (emphasis mine)

These seem to me to be the words of a man who is undisiputibly in command.

schoon
26-06-2010, 01:27
Helsreach by Aaron Dembski-Bowden might be a little more illuminating in the relation between the Departmento Munitorum (which includes both the Imperial Guard and Imperial Navy) and the Adeptus Astartes.

They are separate unless they choose not to be. At various points in the book, Marines place themselves at the disposal of certain commanders (such as the various Marine forces under Commissar Yarrick), in parallel with them (such as the Marine and Imperial Naval forces acting in concert during the Third War for Armageddon), or in command of them (such as Reclusiarch Grimaldus at the beginning of the siege for Helsreach Hive - though he steps down as the fighting begins).

In other words, though separate, they sometimes place themselves in the chain of command out of respect, courtesy, necessity, or choice.

Son of Sanguinius
26-06-2010, 05:09
My two cents: The Astartes commander will oversee the deployment and command of all of his own forces. Depending on his humility and his respect for the involved Imperial commanders, he may agree to allow himself and his force to be used as part of a wider battle plan, but he is always an ally and never subservient. Wise Imperial commanders will understand the tactical acumen that Space Marines have, but they will also understand that for a superhuman warrior, human lives are not necessarily precious commodities.

Sikkukkut
26-06-2010, 07:51
My own favourite analogy for this dates back to the old Portent forums. A thread devoted to this question was going back and forth comparing chains of command across different services - I seem to recall that there was a lot of argument about whether an SAS officer could give orders to a regular army squad, for example.

The best analogy to come out of that was not a modern one at all, but one that I think took better account of the Astartes. You're a grunt slogging along a dusty road somewhere in the Holy Land during the Crusades. There's been fighting, there's going to be more and you're casting about trying to find your commander when an angel, an actual angel of God, descends from the skies, bathing you in white light, blazing sword in hand, and says "You there, follow me." I'd say you're likely to fall in behind him.

(Interpretations of the 40Kverse and Imperial culture differ from fan to fan and source to source, of course, but I like my Imperium with a good dollop of superstitious dread so this approach fits my own rather well.)

Iracundus
26-06-2010, 08:10
However there are limits. If the Space Marine "angel" tried to commandeer and entire IG army or army group, or an Imperial Navy battleship, it would be entirely reasonable for them to be rejected by the generals or admiral. Now this might cause conflict, but if it did so things might escalate upwards rapidly and perhaps reach the Inquisition. After all the whole point of the post-Heresy reforms was to prevent the Space Marines from being able to launch another large scale rebellion by limiting their ability to command other ground and fleet assets.

Sikkukkut
26-06-2010, 08:19
That's a fair response, I don't think that the superstitious-dread thing would scale all the way up to high-command levels.

N0-1_H3r3
26-06-2010, 10:08
That's a fair response, I don't think that the superstitious-dread thing would scale all the way up to high-command levels.
When your available firepower is greater than that possessed by the superhuman warriors trying to boss you about, dread is lessened significantly.

IMO, at this point, it's less about rank and status, and more about the kinds of personalities and mindsets that occupy those ranks. The Captain of an Imperial Navy cruiser commands the fates of thousands of men under his command. A Lord-General of the Imperial Guard can mobilise an armed force that may consist of hundreds of thousands of men. A Warmaster or equivalent rank (such as Lord Commander Solar - same authority, different title, because some consider Warmaster to be an ill-favoured title) commands dozens of ships and millions or billions of men. A Lord Admiral of the Imperial Navy has sufficient might and authority that his will and his wit can mean triumph and survival or failure and death for an entire sector. A Rogue Trader is the Emperor's Voice beyond the Imperium. An Inquisitor is an extension of the Emperor's Will and can slay worlds with a single command.

They're the kind of men who're likely to stand by their convictions and not simply bow and scrape in the face of the Astartes, not because of their rank, but rather the other way around - they have those ranks and that authority and that power because they're that kind of man. They have to be - the responsibilities and demands of such a station require nothing less than an iron will and absolute certainty of purpose.

Alfhedil
26-06-2010, 10:38
It's not so much their authority that Ventris used, more so the fact that SM are free to do as they will. I believe that in his random musings in the book he mentioned that one space marine is roughly equivalent to a hundred guardsmen, and that even the presence of a SM upon the battlefield is able to carry the courage of the guardsmen. That is what many SM commanders would use as leverage, their mere presence upon the battlefield, as what fool would anger a SM captain to the point of withdrawing their support?

Iracundus
26-06-2010, 10:55
When your available firepower is greater than that possessed by the superhuman warriors trying to boss you about, dread is lessened significantly.

IMO, at this point, it's less about rank and status, and more about the kinds of personalities and mindsets that occupy those ranks. The Captain of an Imperial Navy cruiser commands the fates of thousands of men under his command. A Lord-General of the Imperial Guard can mobilise an armed force that may consist of hundreds of thousands of men. A Warmaster or equivalent rank (such as Lord Commander Solar - same authority, different title, because some consider Warmaster to be an ill-favoured title) commands dozens of ships and millions or billions of men. A Lord Admiral of the Imperial Navy has sufficient might and authority that his will and his wit can mean triumph and survival or failure and death for an entire sector. A Rogue Trader is the Emperor's Voice beyond the Imperium. An Inquisitor is an extension of the Emperor's Will and can slay worlds with a single command.

They're the kind of men who're likely to stand by their convictions and not simply bow and scrape in the face of the Astartes, not because of their rank, but rather the other way around - they have those ranks and that authority and that power because they're that kind of man. They have to be - the responsibilities and demands of such a station require nothing less than an iron will and absolute certainty of purpose.

I would disagree on this point. You can have strong willed individual soldiers and sergeants, individuals that never got to advance due to lowly birth or other circumstances. Yet these individuals would be unlikely to get away with refusing an Astartes request to commandeer their command, because their low rank means the Astartes could pulp them without much consequence. By contrast, if they attempted to do so with an Admiral, a Warmaster, or Imperial Governor, then they would have political fallout BECAUSE of the rank of the individual involved, and these individuals would know the Astartes cannot actually carry out such threats (without risking being declared renegade).

Corax
26-06-2010, 12:24
However there are limits. If the Space Marine "angel" tried to commandeer and entire IG army or army group, or an Imperial Navy battleship, it would be entirely reasonable for them to be rejected by the generals or admiral. Now this might cause conflict, but if it did so things might escalate upwards rapidly and perhaps reach the Inquisition. After all the whole point of the post-Heresy reforms was to prevent the Space Marines from being able to launch another large scale rebellion by limiting their ability to command other ground and fleet assets.

Isn't it much more likely that the Space Marines would simply say something along the lines of, "Do it our way or do it without us."? The SM can pick and choose where and when they fight, and if the other Imperial forces don't want their help, they are poorer for it.

Iracundus
26-06-2010, 12:38
The Space Marines can choose where they themselves will fight, but their ability to command and determine where OTHER forces wil fight will be limited by political constraints. For major conflicts, such as the 13th Black Crusade, where the situation is critical, abandoning the conflict can have its own political repercussions, if their pulling out means the Imperium loses or risks losing.

Lord-Gen Bale Chambers
26-06-2010, 13:46
Space Marines have the benefit to pick and choose their fights in alot of battles. They aren't required to answer distress calls, but refusing help too often will draw the wrath of the inquisition. Typically, there are a few ways they can get involved:

1. They answer a distress call from a planet or colony that is under attack.
2. A planetary govenor or Commander petitions the chapter for aid in a campaign / for a planetfall / in a crusade.
3. The Administratum requests a chapters aid in delivering the emperors wrath to traitors or xenos somewhere in response to something.
4. The chapter monitors imperial communications and responds on their own.

In a Crusade, the War Council will contain the overall Commander and respresentation from each organization. This includes The Guard, Navy, Ecclessiarchy, Ad-Mech, Adeptus Astrates and Inquisition. Depending on the size, Astrates representation may be limited to one chapter or the senior marine (Captain or Sgt in some cases) from each chapter present.

The overall commander can order any organization to follow certain orders, but usually needs to be diplomatic about it. Unpopular orders could cause certain elements to pull out or withdraw support.


In smaller conflicts where Marines show up to assist PDF or smaller scale Guard actions, the Marines may not even communicate with the commanders and act on their own attacking targets of their choice. Some chapters will at least meet with Commanders and inform them of their planned actions. This is usually a courtesy unless they are planning on making a requests for some support or to hold units in certain positions. The Guard don't have to supply the support at all, but they usually want the help and are willing to assist.

If you played through the first DOW campaign, the Blood Ravens were using Guard resources for support until an Inquisitor commandeered all Guard forces on the planet and refused them to the Marines.

I base this information on Rogue Trader: Star Damocles, Tactica Imperialis: The Later Crusades, IA3: Taros Campaign, IA5: Seige of Vraks and Dawn of War.

The Highlander
26-06-2010, 14:37
It all comes down in the end to politics and power. A Space Marne has no authority to command anyone outside their own chapter (which would include serfs and PDF forces). However, Guard and PDF commanders would likely defer to the Marne’s greater tactical experience and follow his commands. In the same way, Marne do not have to obey anyone outside their own chapter, but may be ordered to (they could be told by their Chapter Master “You will follow this generals orders as if they given by myself”) or place themselves under another’s authority based on the situation.

In this case, the two officers involved already knew and respected Captain Ventris, and would also have been aware that the defence relied upon the Ultramarines. While they could have ignored him, they knew that politically they could not afford to, and that is would fatally weaken the coordination that was necessary to the campaign.

The equivalent situation would be an army officer encountering a group of police during an invasion. While the officer would have no authority to take command of the police, they would probably defer to his greater experience and follow his orders.

Phoebus
28-06-2010, 19:31
The Imperium is a theocracy in which the head of state is the Emperor, who is also venerated as a god. Astartes, to most people, are recognized as the genetic descendants of "God", and as his Angels of Death. Like in many theocracies, though, the farther one goes up the chain of command, the more there becomes apparent a sense of cynicism.

As a rough rule of thumb, I would posit that individual Regimental Colonels and commanders of starships are likely to submit to operational control of Astartes of sufficient rank (say, Captain or Chaplain) where there is no conflicting set of priorities. Admirals in command of entire fleets, commanders of army groups, etc., likely submit only to Chapter Masters and then only on a pre-arranged basis (e.g., a specified campaign coordinated with sector command or some such).

Inquisitors are probably the wild card. They might support/tag-team with Astartes as needed (see "The Chapter's Due"); or they might be heading the mission/operation they called an entire Chapter to support.

Malice313
29-06-2010, 13:08
In historical terms, the idea of an integrated combined arms military force working together seamlessly is only a comparatively new concept... and it sees varying degrees of success where it applies.

Often the different branches of the military are forced to compete for a slice of a countries budget. Examples of infighting between branches is often given as the cause for ineffectiveness of the Imperial Japanese forces in the later part of WWII.

Theoretically an Adeptus Arbitrator outranks almost every kind of IG and SM commander, they just almost never exercise this privilege.

I would say that it would be an agreement to work together based on the relationship of the officers, not any type of existing command structure protocol.

Does this make sense; No! It is how military's around the world have worked for a very long time though and human nature is a very had beast to change.

Corax
29-06-2010, 13:42
In historical terms, the idea of an integrated combined arms military force working together seamlessly is only a comparatively new concept... and it sees varying degrees of success where it applies.

Often the different branches of the military are forced to compete for a slice of a countries budget. Examples of infighting between branches is often given as the cause for ineffectiveness of the Imperial Japanese forces in the later part of WWII.

But how much does the Imperial military structure really have in common with the real world? I would suggest very little, meaning that such comparisons are of limited value.


Theoretically an Adeptus Arbitrator outranks almost every kind of IG and SM commander, they just almost never exercise this privilege.

Adeptus Arbites? Do you mean the Imperial police? How do you figure that? Can you expand on this point?

Malice313
29-06-2010, 14:08
But how much does the Imperial military structure really have in common with the real world? I would suggest very little, meaning that such comparisons are of limited value.

There are a large number of examples. I don't really want to list them as forum members tend to argue specifics rather than over all concepts.

However, given the amount of "borrowing" that GW does from history to "evoke imagery" I'd say that the Imperium is inextricably linked to the real world.


Adeptus Arbites? Do you mean the Imperial police? How do you figure that? Can you expand on this point?

Have a look at an Imperium Hierarchy flow chart. The Adeptus Arbites is pretty much just underneath the High Lords of Terra. (Also notice the Inquisition and Adeptus Astartes kind of separate from the rest of the chart)

Imperial police may be a bit of a simplification. The Arbitrators exist to enforce Imperial rule, more like an occupation force, or peace keepers than just as a police force. In that capacity it makes sense to have authority over things like Planetary Governors, IG Warmasters, Naval Admirals, etc.

Gorbad Ironclaw
29-06-2010, 14:40
I don't think it's as much that the Arbitrators can actually command around Navy and Guard officers so much that they can arrest, prosecute and execute them if they breach imperial laws.

Malice313
29-06-2010, 14:52
In most cases you are right, but if it were to overthrow a planetary governor in his palace defended by house hold troops and traitor guard elements; I'm sure the magistrate would order all loyal IG elements to assist the assault of the palace.

On the other hand the few remaining combatants starving to death in the ruins of the Fortress Precinct after 7 years of fighting that had erupted outside the palace walls, would happily defer to the Commander of the Imperial relief force.

Lord_Crull
29-06-2010, 18:53
:confused:

My read of the book was that Ventris let Winterbourne and Loic do most of the detail work our of courtesy, but reserved the right to take over at any time he felt the need to do something different to what they wanted to do. He was fine with letting them command their units in whatever manner they saw fit, but he was the overall co-ordinator of the operation with the final say over strategy.

I cite the example of the blowing up of the bridges in Olzetyn:

(emphasis mine)

These seem to me to be the words of a man who is undisiputibly in command.

Not really. Loric could have debated the point and refused to follow Ventris. Ventris had no real authority to command him. However in the end Loric agreed to go along with the idea. It's hardly ''indisputeable''

He hardly took command over the ''whole operation'' as you first suggested. Reading the book he left signifcant authority to the Guard commanders.

Lothlanathorian
30-06-2010, 06:17
Also, in relation to Ventris 'taking command', you can imagine that, were a Space Marine Captain to be in on your meetings and plannings and he were to say something and make it sound like it wasn't a question, most people simply wouldn't question it. It's called 'leadership'. Or being a controlling *******. It's a talent some people have.

The next time you are with a group of your friends and the group is trying to decide on something, but they can't come to a decision, make it for them. Think of it like an experiment. Like if you guys can't decide where to eat, just name a place. Say confidently and with a tone that makes it clear they have no option. I bet you 75% of them go along with you. Unless you aren't respected for your decades, possibly centuries of combat experience and advance tactical knowledge on top of being superhuman and able to crush them all with your little finger. Then they might ignore.

Son of Sanguinius
30-06-2010, 06:28
The Arbitrators also face another issue: It's rather hard to arrest someone who has regiments or a battle cruiser at his/her command.

Malice313
30-06-2010, 07:01
The Arbitrators also face another issue: It's rather hard to arrest someone who has regiments or a battle cruiser at his/her command.

Its a wonder that so many Soviet generals were purged under Stalin if that's the case.:confused:

I think if you have a look at the way most secret police death squads in totalitarian states operate; they immediately swoop in and pick up a dissident (who is never heard from again) based on the slightest and flimsiest of evidence.

So if the Arbitrators are allowing some one to go renegade and deploy their forces against them before acting, they probably aren't doing their job and would likely be the first target of a surprise attack. Its also probably the reason that, if the worst case scenario does happen and there is a rebellion; the Arbitrators tend to fight to the death, as they are going to have a bit of explaining to do.

JaqTaar
30-06-2010, 08:56
The Arbitrators also face another issue: It's rather hard to arrest someone who has regiments or a battle cruiser at his/her command.

So do the Arbites. ;)

They are low in nubmers, but better equipped and trained than most Guard units.
They are also unique in the sense that they are allowed to operate their own space ships, most notably the Punisher class strike cruisers.

Gorbad has it pretty much right though. The Arbites don't give orders to Guard or Navy officers, but they can put them on trial and/or execute them if they break Imperial Law. The same goes for Imperial Governeurs.
They can also requisition their (Guard, Navy, PDF) assets if needed to enforce Imperial Law and in those cases have greater authority than the Commisariat (at least according to the novel Execution Hour). In that aspect an Arbites Judge is not much less powerful than an Inquisitor.

MagosHereticus
30-06-2010, 11:30
arbites can commandeer imperial military assets if they are essential to facilitating the emperors justice

Corax
30-06-2010, 14:22
Not really. Loric could have debated the point and refused to follow Ventris. Ventris had no real authority to command him. However in the end Loric agreed to go along with the idea. It's hardly ''indisputeable''

You don't think that Ventris saying, "These are your new orders," is pretty definitive? Like I said, based on the text in the section I quoted, it appeared (to me) that he was giving orders that he expected to be obeyed without question. Perhaps this is simply a matter of interpretation?

BTW, the character's name is Loic, not Loric. Look it up if you don't believe me.


He hardly took command over the ''whole operation'' as you first suggested. Reading the book he left signifcant authority to the Guard commanders.

Yes, he did, but as I said, the sense that I got was that that was out of a combination of courtesy and a desire not to be burdened with such details as what the Imperial Guard was up to. My reading of it was that he had enough confidence in Col. Winterbourne and his men and did not feel the need to micromanage their part of the battle. Again, maybe this is simply a matter of intepretation, ymmv.

Lord_Crull
01-07-2010, 02:13
You don't think that Ventris saying, "These are your new orders," is pretty definitive?.

Nope.


Like I said, based on the text in the section I quoted, it appeared (to me) that he was giving orders that he expected to be obeyed without question. Perhaps this is simply a matter of interpretation?


And for me it was the rest of the book's actions. As shown in the rest of the book he hardly took command of the ''whole operation'' as you said.



BTW, the character's name is Loic, not Loric. Look it up if you don't believe me.


I hardly care about a single minor typo.



Yes, he did, but as I said, the sense that I got was that that was out of a combination of courtesy and a desire not to be burdened with such details as what the Imperial Guard was up to. My reading of it was that he had enough confidence in Col. Winterbourne and his men and did not feel the need to micromanage their part of the battle. Again, maybe this is simply a matter of intepretation, ymmv.

Which again, is not taking command of the whole operation if he only checked in at the highest levels and left them mostly to their own devices.

Corax
01-07-2010, 07:00
And now I'm going to stop arguing semantics with you.

Lord_Crull
01-07-2010, 16:01
And now I'm going to stop arguing semantics with you.

Your concession is accepted.

Green-is-best
01-07-2010, 16:22
Which again, is not taking command of the whole operation if he only checked in at the highest levels and left them mostly to their own devices.

You're not too familiar with what generals do with their time, are you?

Lord_Crull
01-07-2010, 17:01
You're not too familiar with what generals do with their time, are you?

Actually yes.

In real life they do, in 40k verse not so much. Ventris was a Captain, a front line soldier who hardly spent his time ordering Guard units about into their correct positions and bringing up renforcements for them and etc, etc. In the Astartes officers command from the front. In addition guard regiments like the Cadian and the Catachans it's expected that officers lead from the front.

Marshal2Crusaders
01-07-2010, 20:54
He was talking about Loric, or Loic, or wtf his name was. Real generals dont do much leading, thats what the operations shop is for.

Lord_Crull
01-07-2010, 21:14
He was talking about Loric, or Loic, or wtf his name was. Real generals dont do much leading, thats what the operations shop is for.

And I'll state it once again. In 40k generals can and often do lead from the front. In fact we even had Slaydo, a Warmaster, lead from the front at least once.

Lord Zarkov
01-07-2010, 21:21
Not to mention Lord Solar Macharius, another of Warmaster rank who led from the front.

Then again you have the likes of Lord General Zyvan from the Cain books who leads from a staff office and lets the Colonels do the leading from the front. So it does vary.

Marine leaders always seem to lead from the front though

Corax
02-07-2010, 14:07
Your concession is accepted.

I wasn't conceding. I was simply acknowledging the futility of having a debate with someone who won't even acknowledge the possibility of an alternative point of view.

Lord_Crull
02-07-2010, 14:21
I wasn't conceding. I was simply acknowledging the futility of having a debate with someone who won't even acknowledge the possibility of an alternative point of view.

I do acknowledge an alternative point of view. You have not been able to prove any to me however.

Malice313
02-07-2010, 16:15
I wasn't conceding. I was simply acknowledging the futility of having a debate with someone who won't even acknowledge the possibility of an alternative point of view.

That's exactly how I read it at the time.

Actually I admired that you didn't just go all monkey-thunder-rant like most forum posters do when faced with an opinion that remains inflexible.:angel:

There is nothing more boring and unproductive than having to trawl through five pages of:

"Ook-ook! AAK-AAK-AAK!!!"
"La-la-la-not-listening-la-la-la"
"OOK-OOK!!! AAAAK-AAAAAAAAKK!!!!!"
"La-la-la-still-not-listening-la-la-la"
"KA-BOOOOOOOOM!!!!!!!"
"Hmm-hmm-mm-mmmm..."

... in the vain hope something interesting will crop up.

Kudos!;)

Lord_Crull
02-07-2010, 18:35
Actually I admired that you didn't just go all monkey-thunder-rant like most forum posters do when faced with an opinion that remains inflexible.:angel:


Again, if he were actually able to prove his statement of Ventris taking command of the whole operation then I would listen. However he has not. You people don't seem to be getting this. At All.

Malice313
02-07-2010, 18:58
Again, if he were actually able to prove his statement of Ventris taking command of the whole operation then I would listen. However he has not. You people don't seem to be getting this. At All.

La-la-la-not-listening-la-la-la...

Just kidding.:D Seriously you guys have come to an impasse and its good to see it dealt with in a mature fashion for a change.