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charlie_c67
12-07-2005, 13:13
This started out from something I noticed on the front cover of both Ciaphus Cain novels. In the books it says cain has a laspistol and a chainsword and Jurgan a melta gun. Yet on the front of both books it shows Cain with a bolt pistol and on the front of caves of ice a bearded bloke, who I half assume is Jurgan, toting a heavy stubber. So what's going on there? This also led me to wonder if there was a standard "starter kit" so to speak for new commissars which they adapted to their needs.
Any ideas?

TenTailedCat
12-07-2005, 13:19
I don't know jack about Commisars, apart from what i've read in Gaunts Ghosts. I suppose as they're also combat troops they'll take whatever they can lay their grubby mitts on, with the Bolt pistol and Chainsword being standard weapons and probably those worn when doing ceremonial duties.

Sai-Lauren
12-07-2005, 13:31
both Ciaphus Cain novels
All three, surely? ;)

Traitors Hand came out about a month ago.

So what's going on there?

Artistic license. Well, sounds better than "the artist got it wrong" :D



This also led me to wonder if there was a standard "starter kit" so to speak for new commissars which they adapted to their needs.
Any ideas?
How do you mean? If you mean their kit, then they probably accumulate various bits of it as they ascend to full commissar, everything from their coats and caps to pens and paper, kitbags and so on.
After all, the Emperor may protect, but the Quartermaster provides. ;)

Some may carry keepsakes (Gaunt's got things like an old cruiser model), others may only carry what they need to do their job, still more may carry trophies (especially commissars with feral regiments in order to show their strength and maintain their command), maybe even a few pet animals. Command level commissars may even carry around furniture and similarly large items, just like the officers do.

If you mean weapons loadout, whatever they're more comfortable with using, although the bolt pistol/chainsword combo seems to be common place (and IIRC dates back to the RT era guard list) - shame there's no actual commissar model with that loadout :rolleyes:

charlie_c67
12-07-2005, 13:37
There's a third? I'll watch ebay for it ;)
Well, was thinking bout the way each load out seems different. Gaunt (well his model at least, not read any of the books yet) has a BP and power sword, Cain has a chainsword and las pistol and there's a mini of one with a power fist. Seems like the ultra strict Schola whatsit aren't so strict when it comes to what their pupils come out fighting with.

Sikkukkut
12-07-2005, 13:52
Gaunt (well his model at least, not read any of the books yet) has a BP and power sword... Seems like the ultra strict Schola whatsit aren't so strict when it comes to what their pupils come out fighting with.

Gaunt starts the series with a chainsword and acquires his power sword through a particular set of events in the third book.

Brusilov
12-07-2005, 18:13
There is no reference to being a standard equipment to Commissars. Swords of one form or another are probably a good weapon because they clearly imply the high status of the bearer (IIRC reminiscent of the Middle Ages when only nobles could carry swords). Lasguns are the standard issue for all members of the Imperial Guard.
But Commissars are hardened veterans, they've often spent years in the Stormtroopers so could easily have pulled a Yarrick or two. The Munitorum will probably also provide them with whatever fits their combat style.
IMHO the Schola Progenium trains them to fight with everything they can get their hands on, even a spoon if need be, to demonstrate that the soldiers of the Emperor never give up.

athamas
12-07-2005, 18:51
they also have alot of athority, to like an =][= [but not with as much guts] requisition anything they want off the unit they are leading...

or just pick it up!

if you hang around long enough i expect you see several tones or qeuipment go past, and no one will miss a power sword... much!

Lord-Warlock
12-07-2005, 18:59
Well, one of the Commissar models have a power fist. I say it depends on birth and accomplishment - a Guard-son Scholar might inherit his deceased Colonel father's power sword, and there's also the possibility of doing a Yarrick or being presented with a weapon from a grateful regiment (upon relocating/retiring), population (ala Gaunt), etc.

Brusilov
12-07-2005, 19:17
Considering Commissars are always the orphaned sons of Adepts of the Imperium, and in particular officers who have died doing their duty, the possibility for them to get their parent's sword is relatively high, provided it can be recovered.
Although it could be argued that the Drill-Abbots confiscated such objects to cut all links between the child and his family to make him loyal only to the Imperium.

Lord-Warlock
12-07-2005, 19:28
It's a possibility, and might well vary from Schola to Schola. That said, if the child's parent was a hero there might be the whole "live up to your heritage!"-pressure, in which case the signature weapon of the parent would be likely to end up in the hands of the hero's child.

Counting against Brusilov's theory is the fact that Gaunt had the aforementioned toy cruiser - carved by Dercius, IIRC (or was it the cook?).

Then there's what I always considered a likely route - the temporary confiscation. As the Scholar comes of age, he is presented with his inheritance, including weapons, wealth, etc. Which brings up a question - are Commissars allowed personal fortunes...?

Brusilov
12-07-2005, 21:57
I don't see why they wouldn't. Ennoblement would be relatively common in the Imperium, and thus so could officers and Commissars receive land for their service to the Imperium. The most well-known occurence is the right of conquest, when a regiment is allowed to settle a world and the officers (probably including the Commissar) become the new nobility of that planet.

Minister
13-07-2005, 01:05
It is a near inevitability that the sword will be the primary close-quarters weapon of the Commissar.

The sword is the weapon of the officer, as ilustrated throughout our own world's history since they actually put a real military into place (it is indeed still a part of the dress uniform within the brittish army and some others). this is backed up by the models throughout the ranges (both within the Guard and amongst other Imperial forces). The chainsword is a fine weapon for a commissar, being both lethal and highly spectacular when in use (showing the men that their commissar is leading them to glory), however the power sord is even finer, both for its increased combat effectivness and for the symbolism of a glowing silvered sword held aloft by the man leading the charge.

The bolt pistol is likley the favoured sidearm of a commissar when it is practical. A laspistol is the most common pistol-weapon in the Guard, and so it is easy to maintain and replace if needed. However, an alternative conveys prestige to the bearer. Particularly, the bolt pistol is an excelent weapon when one wishes to show justice done. The traitor and coward may be simply slain with a neat hole in their heart, but detonating the head with a loud bolt explosion is a far more effective demonstration. (It should also be noted that the pistol placed to the beck of the head has become the iconic execution for dissidents.)

It's all about symbolism, something which all commissars (should) understand. the sword to lead, the pistol to punish, and both to slay the Emperor's foes.

MorningStar
13-07-2005, 05:28
the sword to lead, the pistol to punish, and both to slay the Emperor's foes.

Very elegantly put I might add.

And I do agree, the sword would definately show at a quick glance the status of the man, even if covered in the ichor of the foul alien/traitor.

Delicious Soy
13-07-2005, 06:14
Similiar to Swords, high powered pistols are often 'officer only' kit. Bolters are also symbollically a weapon of the Emperor (being wielded by the astartes), a Bolt Pistol would not only represent power and authority, but a link to the Emperor himself.

Of course it would depend on the Commissars modus operandi, whether he Terrorises his regiment into submission, drives them through faith or tries a more familiar approach like that of Gaunt.

Brusilov
13-07-2005, 06:23
Gaunt is not a Commissar. He should be stripped of his commission. The event described in Straight Silver IIRC confirms this.

That is the soldier drunk on duty he did not execute

No Commissar, or even officer, would have let such an event pass without an examplary punition. I like the Ghosts novels generally, but that was really too much

Delicious Soy
13-07-2005, 06:36
I guess like Cain, the familiar approach not only makes Gaunt appear the hero, but also helps cover up his stuff ups (or in Cain's case, indulgences) because of their loyalty to him.

Brusilov
13-07-2005, 06:57
Cain is more believable to me than Gaunt as a Commissar, because Cain may be a coward but he also knows what he must do as a Commissar to maintain the appearance of his role, and would probably not shrink for executing someone if need be.
Gaunt is much too attached to his troops and will not do what must be done to maintain discipline and punish his troops if need be (personally I'm not sure a real Commissar would have ever hesitated to execute Cuu).

Delicious Soy
13-07-2005, 07:06
personally I'm not sure a real Commissar would have ever hesitated to execute CuuI think the whole Cuu episode was another of Gaunt's failures,

I get the feeling that he only did what he did to placate the Verghasts, but really there were better ways than having an obvious criminal aquitted. I found it funny that the most Commissar thing I've read Gaunt doing led to him having a falling out with Dorden. You'd think a man raised from a young age to instill the will to fight in the Emperor's armies would be a little more uncaring towards the opinion of a medic in the execution of his duties. Excuse the pun :p

Barbarossa
13-07-2005, 08:04
I'd think that the Schola Progenium allows it's Comissars some leeway with their equipment so they can adjust it to their own fighting style as well as that of the regiment.

Sai-Lauren
13-07-2005, 09:04
Brusilov, far be it from me to disagree with a Commissar, but a commissars roles are to maintain a regiments fighting abilities, and to root out sedition and treason within the regiment. I would say that a commissar is given carte blanche to achieve these obectives, some may do it with executions and punishments, but they're likely to wind up with holes in their backs when they engage the enemy. Others may act more like Gaunt and Cain, more personal with the troops. Basically it's on to commanding through fear or inspiring through charisma.

As for the two instances about Gaunt that were mentioned.

In the first case, the soldier had already had some punishment - he'd been wounded, his friends had been wounded and killed, and he'd failed, both to achieve his mission, and had failed Gaunt personally and the regiment generally. Dorden got involved because the soldier was showing remorse for his actions, and that's what swung it.
But if you read the event in question again, you'll notice that Gaunt shoulders a lot of the blame for the incident himself, even though it's the soldiers friends who've covered up his drinking.

As for Cuu, he was handed over to the commissarat, Gaunt didn't punish him and they could only prove looting, not the rape. And one would suggest that the punishment of a member of a famous regiment like the Tanith would have an affect on the other regiments around.

Spooky
13-07-2005, 11:47
There's a third? I'll watch ebay for it ;)


Why ebay? Just go here (http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/1844161870/qid=1121252129/sr=8-1/ref=sr_8_xs_ap_i1_xgl14/103-9130172-8182231?v=glance&s=books&n=507846) and order yourself a copy. Here's hoping there is a book 4.

bosstroll
13-07-2005, 12:19
This started out from something I noticed on the front cover of both Ciaphus Cain novels. In the books it says cain has a laspistol and a chainsword and Jurgan a melta gun. Yet on the front of both books it shows Cain with a bolt pistol and on the front of caves of ice a bearded bloke, who I half assume is Jurgan, toting a heavy stubber. So what's going on there? This also led me to wonder if there was a standard "starter kit" so to speak for new commissars which they adapted to their needs.
Any ideas?

I wondered about this aswell. But seeing hes holding a bolter and a flag on the cover of "For the Emperor" I'm asuming these are the recruitement posters he aludes to in that book. Obviously, the artist of that poster had probably never seen Cain in the flesh, so he took some liberty with the weapon loadout of the Imperial Hero.

On the standard load of a comisar, i'd say they get a laspistol and chainsword upon their elevation to full comisar, seeing as this is the basic weapon set you get when buying a comisar for your army.

Brusilov
13-07-2005, 13:13
Commissars have many duties, rooting out heresy and sedition is only one of them. They also maintain discipline, ensure that troops follow the Imperial Creed and serve as liaisons with the Imperial High Command (being trained as Munitorum officers and having a commission as such).
While it is true that some lead by fear and other lead by example, the whole affair with the drunken man, is utterly unbelievable.

The fact that he failed his mission and got his fellow troopers killed only reinforce my opinion and would only make the punishment stronger in my mind. There is no excuse for being drunk on duty, especially in an army like the IG where military discipline is so harsh, read the IIUP for reference

And as to the Cuu affair, I don't have my IIUP on hand, but the punishment for looting or theft is probably death.

Sikkukkut
13-07-2005, 13:50
I wondered about this aswell. But seeing hes holding a bolter and a flag on the cover of "For the Emperor" I'm asuming these are the recruitement posters he aludes to in that book. Obviously, the artist of that poster had probably never seen Cain in the flesh, so he took some liberty with the weapon loadout of the Imperial Hero.

I actually got a chance to chat to Clint at Games Day last year about the Cain covers. He said that given the character - a sly and canny self-promoter above all else - he deliberately went for a slightly cheesy matinee-idol quality to Cain's appearances on the covers, hence the poses and expressions.

Brusilov
13-07-2005, 19:19
Not at all surprising considering he seems to be quite the hero of his part of the Imperium in the early years of M42.
Incidently it's interesting to see that despite all the millennial scare of the Abaddon invasion the Imperium is still very much itself as the new millennium begins (IIRC the novels are written around 050.M42 or somesuch).

bosstroll
13-07-2005, 20:22
Not at all surprising considering he seems to be quite the hero of his part of the Imperium in the early years of M42.
Incidently it's interesting to see that despite all the millennial scare of the Abaddon invasion the Imperium is still very much itself as the new millennium begins (IIRC the novels are written around 050.M42 or somesuch).

Inquisitor Vail notes somewhere that Cain wrote his work before he was pulled from retirement to face the 13th black crusade.

Brusilov
13-07-2005, 21:11
I'm not so sure. I don't remember in which novel it is where some character (not Cain or the Inquisitor) writes his memoirs (I think it's one of the female officers of the regiment) and it's set in M42. Or am I mistaken with another novel... :eyebrows:

bosstroll
13-07-2005, 21:33
I'm not so sure. I don't remember in which novel it is where some character (not Cain or the Inquisitor) writes his memoirs (I think it's one of the female officers of the regiment) and it's set in M42. Or am I mistaken with another novel... :eyebrows:

urgh, your gonna make me look it up, arent ya ? :P

Brusilov
13-07-2005, 21:50
Sorry, I don't have my 40k novels on hand... But if you don't want to, you don't have to ;)

Inquisitor Maul
13-07-2005, 22:10
IT's actualy Lt. (later, Lady General) Sulla who has some memoirs in the novels that Amberlie Vail forced herself to include since it was the only information availible about some of the events

bosstroll
13-07-2005, 22:39
IT's actualy Lt. (later, Lady General) Sulla who has some memoirs in the novels that Amberlie Vail forced herself to include since it was the only information availible about some of the events

With an apology about the style every single time :D

@Brusilov: Sorry, dont really feel like flipping through all three books right now.

Kensai X
13-07-2005, 22:43
Well actually if you read the third Cain book carefully you'll notice he wrought some of those memoirs after the Thirteenth Black Crusade. He makes a comment on a "Black Skirmish" and compares it to the Thirteenth in the memoirs.

bosstroll
18-07-2005, 11:30
I found the refernce, Caves of Ice, page 150: (paraphrased) Ironically Cain has compiled this part of the archive only months before being pulled from retirement to face the next black crusade.


Seems I was wrong, and Cain has written in his árchive' both before and after the crusade.

Sikkukkut
18-07-2005, 12:51
After or during? I know that for us realworld gamers the 13BC was a neatly-delineated, open-and-close event, but in 40Kverse time it went/is still going for a lot longer. I don't have any dates to hand (can someone supply them?) but I really doubt that the Imperial commanders were dusting off their hands and saying "well, that's all sorted then" and sending the extra troops home within a few months, like everyone seems to think they were.

Inquisitor Samos
18-07-2005, 13:15
I agree completely: the "close" part of the 13th Black Crusade has never really happened, at least as far as any information published by GW goes.

The main part of the invasion/defense phase is over, sure, so I suppose technically one could say the "13th BC proper" is over. But there are plenty of places where the aftermath of the incursions is still going on. Places where the Traitor Legions and their allies made inroads and the Imperium is trying to remove them, places where the Imperium has held out but there's still a Chaos presence now acting as a subversive and guerrilla force, places still contested and become long-drawn-out "meat grinder" warzones..... not to mention the Orks having captured territory and no doubt still looking to expand, the Eldar and Dark Eldar shake-ups and inevitable power struggles that follow, the Necron and Tyranid activity in the area, and so on. Imperial commanders will be doing anything but saying it's a closed matter and sending troops back where they came from!

It seems to me that the aftermath of the 13th Black Crusade will be lasting a very long time indeed!

Lord-Warlock
18-07-2005, 13:23
That, and there's Creed's declaration calling all Cadians to return home and free the Gate. Which might lead to some fun if the Cadian colonels spread throughout the Imperium take it too seriously and just leave their garrisons...

bosstroll
18-07-2005, 14:36
After or during? I know that for us realworld gamers the 13BC was a neatly-delineated, open-and-close event, but in 40Kverse time it went/is still going for a lot longer. I don't have any dates to hand (can someone supply them?) but I really doubt that the Imperial commanders were dusting off their hands and saying "well, that's all sorted then" and sending the extra troops home within a few months, like everyone seems to think they were.

Well, since Inq Vail says in the foreword of Caves of Ice that this bit was recorded much earlier then the previously released "For the Emperor" i asume Cain wrote both before and after (and probably during) the 13th BC.

Inquisitor S.
18-07-2005, 14:49
Yes, and do not forget that his memoirs were published in 005.M42, so enough time to write.

Brusilov
18-07-2005, 19:15
I think you have it wrong. Personally I would have considered the BC13 to be over if the Imperium had driven back Chaos into the EoT as it usually does. What we saw was only the opening moves of this war. Remember BC12, aka the Gothic War, lasted for roughly 20 years.
So by far the campaign is not over. The war can still swing both ways in the years to come. The Imperium is slowly and ponderous to answer but once it does it usually strikes back with a vengeance (bad joke intended :rolleyes: ;) )

Minister
19-07-2005, 00:13
That, and there's Creed's declaration calling all Cadians to return home and free the Gate. Which might lead to some fun if the Cadian colonels spread throughout the Imperium take it too seriously and just leave their garrisons...
At which point the duty turns to those who are the subject of this thread's title, in order to restore order.

Xisor
19-07-2005, 00:23
I think you have it wrong. Personally I would have considered the BC13 to be over if the Imperium had driven back Chaos into the EoT as it usually does. What we saw was only the opening moves of this war. Remember BC12, aka the Gothic War, lasted for roughly 20 years.
So by far the campaign is not over. The war can still swing both ways in the years to come. The Imperium is slowly and ponderous to answer but once it does it usually strikes back with a vengeance (bad joke intended :rolleyes: ;) )

I agree quite heartily. Recall that the 'indications' of the crusade were quite clear to conspiracy theorists:

Mars

Abaddon is more or less clear in the Necron codex, IMO, his plan is to smash through Cadia, penetrate as far as Sol, somehow release the Dragon on Mars, allow him to cause havoc on and around Terra, then be ready with the Blackstone Fortresses when the Dragon turns his eyes away from the Solar System.

Well, thats how I read it, it saves Abaddon himself actually getting to Terra and levelling it all himself, and by this point, 10,000 years on, I think he's getting a bit impatient and now just wants to see the Imperium burn.

It does degrade him even further though, as it's implied the whole thing is engineered by the Deciever. Hmmm...

Xisor

PS The trick in the problem is however: Is the Dragon still on Mars, everything points to him being there, except that one WD article about some IG regiment fighting Necrons which implied there was another C'tan tomb world. Perhaps those shrouds that managed to land on Mars actually managed to access the Noctis Labarynthus and warn the Dragon, who then transferred off-world(which shouldn't be a problem for things that can phase out of reality).

Minister
19-07-2005, 00:36
Reguardless of the overall long-term plan, the objective of the Black Crusade was to conquer Cadia and claim the Gade for his own. This he has not done, and with the withdrawl of his personal forces the crusade propper may be concidered a failure.

Xisor
19-07-2005, 00:44
Nonono! :(

That *was* the plan of the Black Crusade, to break through Cadia, it's just taken some time. Currently, I'd say, the 'present tense' 40k is during the 13th Black Crusade, not after it, but it is after the 'Eye of Terror' Campaign.

When did he withdraw his personal forces? :confused:

Xisor

Minister
19-07-2005, 00:58
I seem to recall Abbaddon himself leaving Cadia, and his retinue would have departed with him if that were so.

Delicious Soy
19-07-2005, 03:08
I think you have it wrong. Personally I would have considered the BC13 to be over if the Imperium had driven back Chaos into the EoT as it usually does. What we saw was only the opening moves of this war. Remember BC12, aka the Gothic War, lasted for roughly 20 years.
So by far the campaign is not over. The war can still swing both ways in the years to come. The Imperium is slowly and ponderous to answer but once it does it usually strikes back with a vengeance (bad joke intended :rolleyes: ;) )Which also saw Cypria Mundii under blockade for a decade, and it was the Navy's Segmentum HQ. How much time elapsed during the EoT in the 40k universe? 6 months? A year? Plus the description of the Black Crusades in the 2nd ed codex implies that Cadia has been overrun more than once:

p20: "But even powerful fighting formations like these cannot guarantee victory over the infernal throng. All too often the black tide of chaos expands and recedes leaving entire systems ravaged and burned."

p98: "When Abaddon returned it was at the head of a diabolic horde which ravaged entire systems around the Eye of Terror before the imperium could muster the strength to halt it."

Given his trouble at Cadia this time around, it would appear that Creed has succeeded in stalling and checking Abaddons advance, even if it was at the cost of Cadia. Then I again, I think GW wanted Chaos to gain a foothold outside the EoT given they way they tended to write off Imperial victories (Caliban anyone?)

Brusilov
19-07-2005, 06:45
Even if Cadia is not taken, it hangs by but a thread and certainly is unable to guard the Gate. So even if in time it could be retaken in a few years, in the mean time the forces of Chaos can slip through into the Imperium.

You're right Soy, this was my whole point. Black Crusade last for decades. The EoT campaign simply means the Imperium has not managed to fend off the Chaos invasion and the whole EoT region has turn into a large battlezone.
However with the Imperial Navy winning crucial battle, the situation for the Imperium is dangerous, but not critical. It will probably require decades and millions of troops but the Chaos advance has been stalled.

El_Machinae
19-07-2005, 18:16
What real value is Cadia if the Imperial Navy holds the space around it?

The cost of maintaining the fleet is much (MUCH) higher if they cannot use the Cadian planets as a resource, and so the Navy will have to cycle reinforments and supplies.

But, what does Chaos gain by holding it? They still can't use it as a staging area.

Rövhalt
19-07-2005, 18:46
But, what does Chaos gain by holding it? They still can't use it as a staging area.

You answered it yourself.


The cost of maintaining the fleet is much (MUCH) higher if they cannot use the Cadian planets as a resource, and so the Navy will have to cycle reinforments and supplies

Brusilov
19-07-2005, 19:14
What is the value of holding Cadia? Besides it being on of the most heavily fortified systems in the galaxy, it has a deep symbolic value to the Imperium. If anything it is the symbol of the Imperial vigilance against the threat of Chaos, from the Imperium's steadfastness against the horrors and the madness from the EoT.

And you have to remember something, which is unfortunate enough. 40k is based around a tabletop game taking place on the ground, so in the end the victory belongs to those controlling the planets, even if the planets controlled by Chaos are isolated by Navy blockades.
And on top of that you deny the Imperium valuable resources by taking their worlds, forcing it to send it from far away and thus deplete its reserves used against other threats, such as the Nids.