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What authority would a commisar have over a space marine in general, and the deathwatch in particular?

I know that ciaphas cain was attached to a space marine unit, althoug I havent' read that book yet so I don't know exactly how much authority he had or what role he played in that mission, so I doubt it'd be unprecedented for a commisar to be attached to a deathwatch kill team for various reasons, and in the into mission in the main rule book there's a commisar that the players can meet. Although I doubt they'd be able to execute the space marines, I'd think that technically they'd outrank the space marines themselves, or at least have an equal level of authority.

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Space Marines carry the blood of the Emperor in their veins. They are the champions of humanity, all that stands between mankind and destruction.

A commisar has a much authority over them as a parish priest does over the Archangel Gabriel.

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Space Marines are completly seperate from the imperial guard/imperial navy command organization the departmento munitorium (i think i got that name right..).  Any time that marines are following the orders of anyone of a rank lower then high lord of terra (or perhaps inquisitor, their authority is awkward within the fluff at times) it is because they chose to be, not because they have to be.

Thus, the simple answer would be that a commisar has exactly zero authority over a space marine, but a space marine may chose to work with him if said commisar has earned the respect of the space marine in question.

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arcticintel said:

What authority would a commisar have over a space marine in general, and the deathwatch in particular?

Absolutely none whatsoever. Comissar has authority only inside Departmento Munitorum formations. Adeptus Astartes is an independent organization and only Adeptus Terra, Inquisition and Emperor have any authority over them.

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Polaria said:

arcticintel said:

 

What authority would a commisar have over a space marine in general, and the deathwatch in particular?

 

 

Absolutely none whatsoever. Comissar has authority only inside Departmento Munitorum formations. Adeptus Astartes is an independent organization and only Adeptus Terra, Inquisition and Emperor have any authority over them.

 

And when hard pressed only the Big E.

 

Alex

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Technically only the Emperor himself is over the Adeptus Astartes, however to keep things civil the Chapters generally listen to the High Lords of Terra, the Inquisition (depending on the Chapter =P), and various High Lord Sectors.

When it comes down to it a Chapter Master can decline an order by even the High Lords, although that is usually an extremely rare circumstance as most times the need to take care of a threat and the possible military actions to take out the Chapter outweighs the need to cement their unique status.

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muzzyman1981 said:

Technically only the Emperor himself is over the Adeptus Astartes, however to keep things civil the Chapters generally listen to the High Lords of Terra, the Inquisition (depending on the Chapter =P), and various High Lord Sectors.

When it comes down to it a Chapter Master can decline an order by even the High Lords, although that is usually an extremely rare circumstance as most times the need to take care of a threat and the possible military actions to take out the Chapter outweighs the need to cement their unique status.

 

Yeah, not mention that angering the High Lords can lead in the worst of cases to Excommunicate Traitoris and having, for example, the Crimson Fists or Minotaurs sent after you.

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muzzyman1981 said:

LOL Tell that to the Space Wolves....if you don't get punched in the face just for looking funny.

 

What does Logan Grimnar do when trapped in the same room with a High Lord of Terra and a Lord Inquisitor?
LOL, absolutely anything he wants to. demonio.gif

 

Alex

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As was more or less said by others above the Commisariat has no authority over Adeptus Astrates, they are usually assigned to the Imperial Navy and Imperial guard. A particularily well known and respected Commisar might hold more sway over Astrates but this will likely have to be an exceptional individual such as Yarick who's running around with the High Marshal of the Black Templars last I heard hunting a certain Ork Warboss.

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ak-73 said:

muzzyman1981 said:

 

LOL Tell that to the Space Wolves....if you don't get punched in the face just for looking funny.

 

 

 

What does Logan Grimnar do when trapped in the same room with a High Lord of Terra and a Lord Inquisitor?
LOL, absolutely anything he wants to. demonio.gif

 

Alex

 

Depends on the High Lord in question, obviously the Fabricator-General of Mars would be a different case then the Master of the Administratum, or the Paternoval Envoy, or the Grand Master of the Officio Assassinorum, or Guilliman if you count dead ones.

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AluminiumWolf said:

Space Marines carry the blood of the Emperor in their veins. They are the champions of humanity, all that stands between mankind and destruction.

A commisar has a much authority over them as a parish priest does over the Archangel Gabriel.

 

I think this is the simplest and best answer to the question

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DFK! said:

 

Keep in mind that the inverse is true: the Space Marines also have no authority over the Commissar.

 

 

What has the most potential for a bad outcome: A Space Marine ignoring a Commissar or a Commissar ignoring a Space Marine?

I think the Commissar would know when and to whom to pay attention.

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Not so sure about that, considering that commisars are supposed to be fearless sticklers for regulations and the chain of command. I would expect them to take an Astartes boltshell to the face (possibly right after saying 'You have no authority to issue that order') before undermining the authority of the commisar's station by following unauthorised orders from people outside the chain of command. 

And on the other hand the Astartes should have the brains not to threaten and undermine the discipline of the Imperial Guard by trying to boss around authority figures.

Ordering a commisar to do something is pretty stupid. Suggestion is a better way to go. Giving orders to people you have no authority to issue them to is seldom a good idea.

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Somehow I can't imagine a Spacemarine on the battlefield talk it out with a commisar when something HAS to be done NOW, just because he has no authority over him.

On the other hand there have been times where lesser men have had authority over Spacemarines, just because higher ranking SMs told them to follow the other one's orders. In other words: if your chaptermaster tells you to fly to planet XY and once there do what commisar z orders you to to, you will follow orders. Will you not?

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You don't have to talk it out, just phrase it as a suggestion, rather than an order. That's the way it works.

Who is in charge of an infantry platoon? An LT. Who actually RUNS the thing? An experienced NCO. Do you think the sarge stands there and yells 'Tell your men not to to it like that, LT!!!'? No, because he's just undermined the IC's authority, bucked the chain of command, and weakened the entire unit.

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I'm actually reminded of one of the Souldrinker novels.  There's an IG Lord General in it who basically says he hates having space marines in his Area of Operations because he has no way to command or control them, they're gonna do what the hell they want regardless of what his overall mission is.

But back to the original question, why would a commisar be assigned to a space marine unit then?

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One thing worth remembering is that Commissars aren't the ones that give the orders even in situations where they do have authority.

That's what the officers of the Imperial Guard and Imperial Navy (the only people a Commissar has any power over) are for. A Commissar is a political officer, an advisor to an IG or IN officer, ensuring that subordinate personnel are properly disciplined and motivated, to guarantee that the officer they're attached to is loyal and that his orders are just and righteous, and that any man within his remit is appropriately punished if they step out of line.

A Commissar has literally nothing to do with the Astartes - they aren't a part of his remit or duties. There are exceptions, but those exceptions are due to the individuals (such as Lord-Commissar Sebastian Yarrick, Hero of Hades Hive) rather than any part of his official authority (Astartes listen to Yarrick because he's a revered hero of the Imperium, not because he's a Commissar).

Even if a group of Astartes were sent to a warzone and ordered to coordinate with local forces, they'd speak to the most senior officer present... which, unless things have gone really badly, won't be a Commissar (because others will have been elevated to command while the Commissar retains oversight - to command interferes with a Commissar's duties).

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If I recall the instance when Cain was attached to the space marines correctly (its been awhile), it was almost in the epilogue of the book and the "space marines" were Terminators boarding a space hulk to kill genestealers.  Knowing Cain, he probably spent most of the time trying to stay in the center of the group away from the genestealers and trying to stay out from under the terminator's boots.  His attachment was *probably* more that of an expert on fighting tyranids advising the terminators (due to previous "heroics"), and no one thought to just have him give them a few pointers before they went in because he's the greatest hero who ever lived in the IG's view.

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