The Commissar – Blood, Steel and Guts

September 9, 2006

“You’re a Guard Commissar. I’ve heard stories. Stories of ruthlessness. Brutality. Iron rule and unflinching punishment.”

“I’m all of these things,” said Gaunt. “When I have to be”

+++Major Landerson, Gereon Free Militia to Colonel Commissar Ibram Gaunt. Traitor General by Dan Abnett+++

A commissar was not a tactician. He was not a strategist. He could not fine-tune an assault or design the perfect defence. But when the Guard needed leadership, such things were irrelevant. Commissars led when the Guardsmen needed to be led from the front into the teeth of a foe a colonel and his officers could not face. When there was no room for tactics or skill or anything but sheer bloody-minded, fanatical bravery, the commissars took the lead.

+++The Statue Garden, Chapter 18 of the Grey Knights by Ben Counter+++

Imperial Guard CommissarExceptional recruits that excel in Stormtrooper training from the Schola Progenium are seconded to the Commissariat to be trained as commissars. Remaining outside the standard command structure of the Imperial Guard, Commissars have the right and authority to summarily execute anyone without trial if they are deemed to be found wanting. In Dawn of War, Imperial Guard Commissars are the backbone of your Guardsmen squads, providing courage and fearsome leadership when it is found wanting.

Commissars cost 80 Resources and 40 Power and are available in two forms – as part of the Command Squad and as an individual leader. Each Commissar has 375 hitpoints and is equipped with a powersword and laspistol. Each of them packs Commander class armour, rendering them immune to most conventional forms of firepower except for Plasma weaponry and Heavy Bolters. In combat, they can perform a disruption attack with their Power Swords to scatter enemy units.
Available once an Infantry Command is built, Commissars are available in two forms – as an addition to an Imperial Guard Command Squad or as an individual offer from the Command Centre.
An individual Commissar can be attached to a Guardsman, Ogryn or Kasrkin squad as a leader. As part of a squad, the Commissar confers increased morale and a minor self healing ability to the squad. Technically speaking, he adds 2.5 hit points per second to a squad’s healing rate, allowing them to heal faster. For a standard Imperial Guardsman squad, this means he boosts the regeneration rate up to 3 hit points per second. In addition, he adds 200 Morale Points to the squad he joins but does not affect morale regeneration rates. At Tier 2, he can execute a member of the squad to give a temporary bonus of resetting morale to maximum and doubling the rate of fire to all Guardsmen, Kasrkin and Ogryn within a small radius from the Commisar. This becomes a viable strategy by constantly boosting the fire rates of your Guardsmen for a marginal cost of 20 Resources to replace the executed Guardsman. One currently used strategy is to pack a unit of Guardsmen with a Commisar with the squad carrying Plasma Rifles in conjunction with a Psyker to deal with vehicles though this method is only to be advocated if you have superior numbers on your side.

In Tier 0, Imperial Commissars are best used individually to tie up a squad on their own in conjunction with a Guardsman unit providing fire support. Once the Commissar gets injured or halfway down his healthbar, he should rejoin a Guardsmen squad to avoid enemy units focusing fire on him. In packed melees with close combat capable troops, a Commisar should charge in with a squad in Melee mode such as against the Orks and against Chaos Raptor units. Alone – he will be massacred in melee. As the enemy begin packing more anti armour and anti elite troop weaponry, Commissars should change from being a close combat and assault unit to a leadership role with their Execute ability.
In the Command Squad, a Commissar represents a quickly reinforced unit with only slightly inferior stats to a Priest, doing approximately 85% of a Priest’s maximum melee damage while still retaining their ranged lethality with their laspistol. Their primary advantage is that they only take 25 seconds to be added to the Command Squad, representing quick reinforcements should your Command Squad take casualties in combat. Their ranged damage is also the best after the General and some tacticians advocate a Command Squad consisting of 3 Commissars, a Priest and a General set at the Ranged Stance to tear down listening posts and provide ranged fire support in the middle and late tiers of the game.


One last duel once more

September 8, 2006

He slammed back into the bulkhead wall, hard enough to hear something crack. Celes crumpled to the floor, seemingly unconscious. Her mind floated in and out in a hazy fog. She found it hard to focus, blood caked the back of her head and ran down fresh and hot, soaking her collar and armour.

Pain.Hurt.

Pain.Hurt.

She tasted blood on her lip. Her teeth felt loose. Celes pupils narrowed. She begun hyperventilating.

Pain.Blood.Hurt.

Pain.Blood.Hurt.

PAIN!!!! BLOOD!!! HURT!!! KILL!!!

KILLL!!! KILLL!!!!!!! KILLL!!!!

Something in Celes snapped. Something deep inside her roared, and quite simply lost all sense of reason. There was a blood curdling howl from something behind him. As if something, some animal had lost all sense of reasoning.

He turned and looked back, and the once confident Porhen killing machine had a look of fear in his eyes. Celes was virtually unrecogisable. She was hunched over, breathing hard. Her hair was tangled and mussed, but one eye was visible through her blonde locks. Her pupils were dilated, bloodshot, and crazed. Celes’ fingers were clenched until the knuckles were bone white and every muscle in her body was corded like steel cabling. She gave a banshee roar of fury, the bloodlust coursing through her veins.

The killing machine could only whisper one word. He had heard of such Loyalists before, but never seen one. Just one had been known to massacre entire platoons of conventional infantry. “Berserker…”

Max had never seen her in such a state before. It was an awesome and terrible sight to behold.

And that was all the respite he had. Celes gave a blood curdling howl and leaped at him, sword swinging away with unnatural strength, ferocity and speed. The man barely blocked a viciously swung swordblow before another came in, again, and again. Her teeth were bared in a rictus grin of berserk fury. Desperate, the man timed his parry and gave her a hard uppercut that would have stunned a bull. Celes took the impact, blood and teeth spewing out in a hail of gore. Not that it fazed her. She not only shrugged it off, it seemed to only make her madder and increase the ferocity of her attack. Her hammerblows, though innacurate were strong, fast and relentless. The man was an excellent swordsman, but no course prepared for one to deal with a berserker. They felt no pain. They did not tire. They did not die easily.

The man knew that in her berserker fury, even his enhanced strength was barely a match for her strength and speed. Pain meant nothing to one in such a state. He had to stop her. Prevent her from reaching him. Desperately, he fought for distance, giving some space so that he could use his blade while keeping her at bay. Like a dervish, she fought to get closer, both hands holding her reg blade and swinging away while attempting to savage him with her teeth. 

Using every last ounce of skill he had, he parried another mighty blow that cause her to temporarily open her guard. Then relying on every last ounce of nanotechnology enhanced strength he had, he gave a mule kick that slammed her into the bulkhead again. With a roar, the man threw his blade, point first right at her. It would have hit her head, if not for the fact that she got up instantly like a rolly-polly. Instead, the blade sink itself hilt first into her shoulder, and into the bulkhead. Warning sirens blared as onboard systems warned of possible decompression. She didn’t even feel a thing. Celes tried yanking the thing out but it was sunk too deep. She then tried to tear her way out, ignoring the possible damage to her, but the blade was sunk too deep. She had no leverage, even if she was willing to lose the arm. Her teeth gnashed as she tried to madly grab for her enemy.

“Fight someone your own size Asharouk”

The man snarled in recognition at the voice and turned. Kian walked into the room, his duster swishing.

They circled each other slowly. In the dim light of the ship, they both instantly recognised each other.

Both of the combatants grappled like vicious dogs. They both jabbed, punched and slammed each other with such ferocity that the air literally whooshed with the sound of their blows, blocks and counterblows before they both rolled back and away from each other and coming out, weapons drawn. Kian feinted out of his roll with his reg blade drawn in a low iai draw position. The other man seemed to make an almost puppetlike hop back before punching the air with his fists to reveal wrist mounted vibro blades.

“You!” the tall man said in a sibilant hiss as he circled Kian.


Desperate Charge

September 8, 2006

Celes leaned back against the wall as she fished out a flashbang grenade. She gave a motion to her squadmate to arm a fragmentation round and arm it for impact detonation. She thumbed the arming switch, prompting the little explosive device to emit a soft red glow. Her companion did the same. With practised timing, both tossed the grenades down the corridor and then simulteneously reached for their reg blades. Suddenly, there was a crescendo of white light, deafening noise and sleeting razor sharp fragments of durasteel zinging down the corridor.

Unholy shrieks sounded as the demonic abominations were blinded, wounded and deafened from the dual explosive combination. Celes gave a fearsome shout, “FOR TAAANNN!!!!!” and skidded out from the corner with Archer blazing and reg blade hissing with burning heat. Right behind her echoing her battlecry were her squadmates as they went hand to claw with the enemy.

In seconds, the Celes’ Hunter-Killer team were within melee distance to the enemy. In what seemed like an eternity, they fought hand to claw with a ferocity, anger and desperation unheard of. Everything was on the line now. The future of the Families. The future of humanity, and in that they would live by their code – Victoria aut Mortis – “Victory or Death”.

Her squad tore six of the abominations apart with piercing shrieks of screeching agony as they lopped off appendages and thoraxes even as they dodged and parried a fearsomely fast barrage of chitin coated claws that stabbed and slashed like fearsome Praying Mantis’ claws.


Reproach and Recriminations

September 7, 2006

Chief of TISD Office
Level 688
Tanfen Corporate Tower
Laifen

“What can I say about her? That she is one of the most beautiful women to have ever lived? That she fought her way from the anonymous legions of TPRO to become one of the most respected, the most feared of women to be in charge of TISD? That she has absolute dominion over one of the galaxies finest intelligence agencies? That she can, without flinching send a thousand men to their deaths if it would benefit the Families and the Corporation? That she could slay you in cold blood without a thought if it would further the goals of the Families? That she has more blood on her hands than Tolwyn would ever have in his brilliant career? That she is nothing more than a merciless broker of lives and secrets? Then you do not know her enough. There is much more to her than that. Much more.
I saw her once, in a moment of terrifying vulnerability. You have never seen her sob in the night, seen her wring her hands at the decisions she must give out daily. The moments when she is racked by the guilt, the faces of the hundreds of dozens of young men and women and troops she flings at the Families rivals in the hidden conflict that only those who bear witness to a Corporate patron know. Yet, at dawn, she is Sue Yen Ng Lai again. The Ice Queen. The Queen of Tarots. The most merciful of the merciless.”

Keiko Gan “Personal Journal”

“I will not be taking any calls Miss. Ching” she said as she thumbed off the intercom.

She uttered to the air around her. “Seal doors. Activate white noise generators”. At her voice, the doors snapped shut even as the dull hum told her that white noise generators were activated. She snapped her fingers and the curtains closed in, swathing the room in darkness even as the windows slowly began vibrating at a high frequency – the means to throw off laser and audio taps. Sue pressed another button again that scanned her room. Her console gave a beep of confirmation. No bugs.

In the darkness, the woman went to her desk. She didn’t need the light to navigate her way. Her elegant fingers touched her expansive desk that was hers even as she sat back in the high backed chair that was the symbol of her office. Read the rest of this entry »


The Imperial Guard

September 7, 2006

Imperial Guard gruntsThe Hammer of the Emperor. The Emperor’s Divine Fist. Also known as the Flashlight Brigade on account of their puny lasguns, the Imperial Guard in version 1.51 is still, for lack of a better word, horribly undergunned.

Despite adding an additional man to the average Guardsman squad and slightly juicing up their hitpoints, they are expected to go head on against other races Tier 0 units and accomplish miracles. With the morale of girly men unless you have an expensive Commissar in charge, the squad is expected to go up against the likes of, well…everything else including Tactical Marines or Chaos Space Marines and worse since their replacements – the Kasrkin – only drop by in Tier 3.

The odds of surviving Dark Reaper squads dancing around you plinking away, massed Raptor packs or even Scouts with Sniper Rifles in Tier 1 are minimal at best. Not only do they outclass the average Guardsman unit in quality, they succeed on a cost basis as well. To even marginally offer resistance barring as some form of meatshield, the average Guardsman squad needs either the Command Squad disrupting enemy units or a Commissar backing them up. Without either of these, a squad will fold in a matter of seconds to massed fire.


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September 7, 2006

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