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"A Captain leads from the front. By his example shall his men know what it is to be of the Adeptus Astartes, and from his teachings shall they learn the trade of battle in the Emperor's name. No ordinary man can a Captain be, for many are the paths to victory and he must be master of them all. His very being shall be an extension of the Emperor's work. With every strike of his sword, with every word of his speech does he reaffirm the ideals of our honoured master. He will vanquish darkness and heresy with every thought, word and deed. So shall his coming be a sign of deliverance to the dutiful and a herald of dismay to all traitors. No living man shall stay his wrath."
— From the teachings of Roboute Guilliman, the Apocrypha of Skaros
PrimarisCaptain

A Primaris Captain of the Ultramarines Chapter

A Captain is a senior Astartes or Primaris Space Marine officer who commands one of the 10 companies in a standard Space Marine Chapter or Primaris Space Marine Chapter that follows the dictates of the Codex Astartes. These hardened Veterans have proven themselves in the maelstrom of battle as members of their Chapter's elite 1st Company, or through their bloody and dedicated service in their own company prior to the death of their predecessor and their ascension to command.

As penultimate masters of the battlefield, Captains are able to read its ebb and flow, and adjust their battlefield formations accordingly. Leading from the front, by his example shall a Captain's men know what it is to be an Adeptus Astartes, and from his teachings shall they learn the trade of battle in the Emperor's name.

Hammers of Dorn Captain

A Space Marine Captain of the Hammers of Dorn Chapter

A Space Marine commander is a determined leader whose rank speaks of a past littered with beaten enemies. It is not enough for a commander to simply be a skilled fighter; he must also have a superhuman grasp of strategy and tactics in order to guide his forces to victory.

Centuries of battlefield experience have taught him every facet of war, trained him in the tools of slaughter and honed his wits to the level of instinct. With the merest glance, a commander can appraise a war zone, see every threat and opportunity presented by the shifting lines of battle, and divine how victory can be assured.

Clad in their personalised heraldry, wielding ancient relic weapons, some of which date back to days of the Horus Heresy itself, Space Marine Captains are amongst the most inspirational figures in the Imperium. Each is a skilled orator and strategic genius who leads his brothers to victory time and again.

A company's warriors obey their Captain's orders without question or hesitation, trusting in his many solar decades of experience to conduct them. The Captain's guidance increases the value of his Battle-Brothers tenfold, and he justifies their faith in him with every command. A Captain coordinates his warriors with deadly precision and inspires his followers to fight with a dedication and spirit that cannot be instilled by discipline and training alone.

Role

Cato Fall of Damnos-1-

Captain Cato Sicarius heroically leads the Ultramarines 2nd Company

Each Captain is a hardened Veteran Astartes, a master strategist who has proven his prowess in battle as a member of the Chapter's elite 1st Company, or through distinguished service in his own company as a squad Sergeant prior to the death of his predecessor.

In addition to his Chapter rank, each Captain also bears one or more honorific titles associated with the command of a particular company or responsibility. Some, such as Master of the Watch and Master of the Recruits, are common titles in use across almost all Space Marine Chapters whilst others, such as the White Scars Master of the Hunt, are products of a specific Chapter's history and culture.

These titles often bring with them additional duties and responsibilities. For example, the Master of the Fleet must be just that: not only a skilled commander but an expert at void warfare who looks to the upkeep, deployment and – on occasion – command of his Chapter's Battle Barges, Strike Cruisers and Escort frigates.

Equally, the Master of the Rites has a secondary role that tallies closely with that of the Chaplains of the Reclusiam. To him falls the honour of leading many of his Chapter's most sacred rituals alongside the Master of Sanctity, and it is his responsibility to ensure that all companies are joined by a sufficient strength of Chaplains.

Other titles are products of a particular Chapter's history, culture and military specialties. The Captain of the White Scars' 4th Company is traditionally the Master of the Hunt, while the Aurora Talons Chapter, specialising in space warfare, maintains no less than five Master Bombardiers among their company Captains.

The Raven Guard, for example, name their company officers "Shadow Captains," whilst the Black Templars use the epithet Marshal

Cpt. Sicarius Battle Honours

The wargear and honours of Brother-Captain Cato Sicarius of the Ultramarines Chapter

Individual Captains can also be assigned to command missions that require the deployment of elements of the Chapter beyond their own company. In these situations an individual Captain takes on the temporary rank of Force Commander and gains precedence over even other Captains assigned to this mission.

It is not enough for an Astartes Captain to be a skilled warrior -- each Chapter boasts many such men amongst its roster -- he must also have a superhuman grasp of military strategy and combat tactics, as well as the intelligence to employ them in the ever-changing arena of warfare.

It is commonly said in the Imperium that in terms of raw military might, every Space Marine is easily worth a dozen or so Imperial Guardsmen. Under the command of an experienced Captain, this value can swell tenfold.

A Space Marine Captain is not simply a master of warfare, he must also have the gift of diplomacy and political adroitness. While most Imperial Planetary Governors and Commanders are more than happy to receive aid from the Space Marines when in trouble, there are those whose arrogance must be carefully negotiated in order to prevent a battle's collapse into a true disaster for the broader Imperium through unnecessary political infighting.

This is not to say a Space Marine Captain lacks for ultimate authority when dealing with hubris and failure to the Emperor -- as Captain Kayvaan Shrike of the Raven Guard's 3rd Company once proved by executing a vacillating Cardinal Dostok on the spot.

That said, subtler methods of diplomacy are best employed in grim situations -- the necessary punitive measures can be enacted after the threat has been ended. A Space Marine never bends the knee lightly to any non-Astartes, but the needs of the Emperor's realm must override any personal feelings. The mission is always all. Humanity shall be saved from its own petty failings, even if this must be done one world at a time.

Wargear

If serving as a Terminator, the wargear available to the Captain changes as follows:

If serving as a Cataphractii Terminator, the wargear available to the Captain changes as follows:

If serving as the rider of an Astartes Assault Bike, the wargear available to the Captain changes as follows:

Primaris Captain

PrimarisCaptain

A Primaris Space Marine Captain of the Ultramarines Chapter in Mark X Gravis Power Armour armed with a Power Sword and Boltstorm Gauntlet

A Primaris Space Marine Captain serves essentially the same function commanding a company of Primaris Astartes as does his standard Astartes counterpart. The only difference beyond his physical enhancements lies in his wargear, as it does for all Primaris Space Marines. The Primaris Captain is a stoic, indomitable commander. He is as much a leader as he is a fighter, possessing masteries in both ranged and close quarters combat.

Wargear

If a Primaris Captain is wearing Mark X Gravis Power Armour, the wargear available changes as follows:

If a Primaris Captain is wearing Mark X Phobos Power Armour, the wargear available changes as follows:

Chapter Variant Ranks

It is common in many Chapters of Space Marines to refer to their Captains as "Brother-Captain" in recognition of the reality that all Astartes, even those of the highest rank, are brothers-in-arms. Several Chapter maintain different titles for their Company Captains then the standard title proscribed by the Codex Astartes. A number of the most notable are described below:

Chapter
Honourific or Title
Dark Angels
Master
Space Wolves
Wolf Lord
Red Scorpions
Commander
Black Templars
Marshal or Castellan
Grey Knights
Brother-Captain*
Deathwatch
Watch-Captain
Raven Guard
Shadow Captain
Excoriators
Corpus Captain
White Scars
Khan
Iron Hands
Iron Captain
Executioners
Warlord
Carcharodons
Company Master


*Note: This rank serves a different function in the Grey Knights hierarchy than a standard Astartes Captain.

Space Marine Masters

In addition to the command of an entire company, it is common for Space Marine Captains to hold a variety of other formal titles and functional duties within the Chapter as what are known as Space Marine Masters.

It should be noted, however, that some Chapters utilise some of these titles but not others. For example, the Blood Angels have the positions of Master of the Watch, Master of the Marches and Master of the Recruits, but all other company Captain titles are unique.

Even those who do use these titles do not always follow this exact layout (e.g., the Salamanders' Master of the Recruits is the Captain of the 7th Company, rather than the 10th, and the Blood Angels' Master of the Marches is the Captain of the 7th Company, not the 5th.

The following is a list of the most common formal titles held by Space Marine Captains in a standard, Codex Astartes-compliant Chapter:

  • Master of Sanctity - The Master of Sanctity, also styled "High Chaplain," is the head of the Chaplaincy in a Space Marine Chapter and head of the Chapter cult. One of the Masters of the Chapter, the Master of Sanctity oversees the spiritual health of the Chapter by assigning Chaplains to the cpmpanies. Immediately beneath him is the Reclusiarch, the head of the Reclusiam.
  • Master of the Forge - The Master of the Forge is a Chapter's most senior Techmarine, charged with the maintenance of the Chapter's fleet of armoured fighting vehicles, such as Rhinos, Land Raiders and Predators. His knowledge of the arcane sciences has been refined over standard centuries of service, and rivals that of the senior Tech-priests of the Adeptus Mechanicus of Mars. They oversee all of the Chapter's Techmarines and the Chapter Armoury. The Master of the Forge is the chief engineer and weaponsmith of the Chapter.
  • Master of the Apothecarion - The Master of the Apothecarion, also known as the "Chief Apothecary," is the senior Apothecary of the Chapter. As head of the Apothecarion, the Master of the Apothecarion is responsible for assigning Apothecaries to companies, so that they may heal their Battle-Brothers' wounds or recover the gene-seed of the fallen.
  • Chief Librarian - The Chief Librarian is the strongest and most psychically attuned Librarian of a Space Marine Chapter. He is master of the Librarium and has full access to otherwise restricted parts of it that house the Chapter's most powerful and dangerous relics. His centuries-long studies and experience, gathered on thousands of battlefields, makes him a crucial advisor to his Chapter and its officers. Chief Librarians often lead forces or assist the Chapter Master in battle while other Librarians aid company Captains. The Chief Librarian also holds the overall responsibility for communications as well as scrutinizes battle reports to provide recommendations for honour awards.
  • Master of the Keep - The Master of the Keep is the title of the Space Marine Captain who has been designated to serve as the Chapter Master's second-in-command and will serve as the regent of the Chapter homeworld in those cases where the Chapter Master is off-world or has been incapacitated. The title is usually borne by the commander of the elite 1st Company.
  • Master of the Watch - The Master of the Watch is a Space Marine Captain who in a Codex Astartes-compliant Chapter serves as the sentinel of the fortress-monastery. He is responsible for the defence of his Chapter's base of operations and homeworld in the absence of the Chapter Master. This title is usually given to the commander of the 2nd Company though the company that is charged with the garrisoning of the fortress-monastery is allotted to a different company on a rotational basis.
  • Master of the Arsenal - The Master of the Arsenal is a Space Marine Captain who is charged by his Chapter Master with overseeing his Chapter's arsenal of weapons and munitions. This special duty is traditionally given to those officers who serve as the Captains of the Chapter's 3rd Company.
  • Master of the Fleet - The Master of the Fleet is that Space Marine Captain who is deemed to have the most experience and greatest skill at planning and executing void-combats. He is given command of the Chapter fleet, and essentially serves as the Chapter's fleet admiral, commanding its flagship and all other space assets when they deploy for major engagements. In rare cases, a Chapter's Master of the Fleet may not be an Astartes officer but a mortal with a long history of space combat and commanding fleet engagements, such as a former or current command officer of the Imperial Navy who has been seconded to the Chapter under ancient inter-service agreements. The title is traditionally given to the Captain of the 4th Company.
  • Master of the Marches - As well as leading an entire company of Space Marines in battle, the Master of the Marches has the duty of overseeing the deployment of the Chapter's fighting strength. It is his knowledge of Chapter dispositions the Chapter Master turns to when readying for war. The Master of Marches is wholly devoted to his duty as he gazes at a massive length of parchment held aloft by a Cyber-cherub, which contains critical data. Upon his backpack are twin Vox-casters which are utilised to project orders across the noisy battlefield. The Master of the Marches is usually the commander of the 5th Company.
  • Master of the Rites - The Master ofthe Rites is charged with recording and preserving the martial traditions of the Chapter -- a bombastic, courageous warrior with unswerving loyalty to his Battle-Brothers. This individual exudes a sense of martial pride and fervour to those around them. A large Servo-skull with an incorporated Vox-caster that amplifies his warcries is anchored near his feet by a weighty pair of censers. The Master of Rites roars inspiring rhetoric during the heat of battle, reminding his Battle-Brothers to remember their duty and heritage, even as they clash with the foe. The Master of the Rites is traditionally the Captain of the 6th Company.
  • Chief Victualler - The title of Chief Victualler is traditionally held by the Captain of the 7th Company. The Chief Victualler is responsible for all of the Chapter's supply needs, particularly those pertaining to food, drink and the other personal requirements of the Chapter's Astartes and human support personnel.
  • Lord Executioner - The Lord Executioner is the captain who serves as the master of the Chapter's Reserve Close Support Company and is usually the commander of the 8th Company. He is a brutal and direct individual, not so much given to glittering heroics and flamboyant challenges as short, bloody and efficient close combats. Clutching his favoured master-crafted melee weapon in his hands, he strides purposely forward in battle, the expression of a stone cold killer writ on his face as he heads towards his grim duty. His Artificer Armour is often impressively detailed with embossed skulls, scrollwork and multiple Purity Seals. Of all the Space Marine Captains within a Chapter, the Lord Executioner is the most menacing.
  • Master of Relics - The Master of Relics is the commander of the Chapter's Reserve Fire Support Company, an unmatched expert in the tactics of long-ranged warfare. He is also the custodian of the Chapter's many technological masterpieces, the most dangerous of which are brought to the battlefield in times of exceptional strife. The Master of Relics is often clad in ancient patterns of Power Armour, and armed with an impressive array of master-crafted weapons from the Chapter's armouries. He projects an aura of stoic watchfulness as he directs a withering look upon distant foes. On his backpack is a targeting array which matches the angle of his gaze, gathering telemetry information to be fed to his fire support squads. The Master of Relics is traditionally the commander of the 9th Company.
  • Master of Recruits - The Master of Recruits is the officer who is responsible for training all of the Chapter's Neophytes and who usually also serves as the commander of the Chapter's Scout Company, the 10th Company. He will be a skilled Veteran of hundreds of battles and a shrewd judge of character, easily able to determine what will bring out the best in the genetically-altered adolescents who survived their Aspirant Trials and transform them into true Astartes. As the leader of a Scout Company, the Master of Recruits will be an expert in the irregular forms of combat that define the missions of Space Marine Scouts, including sabotage, infiltration and counterinsurgency.
  • Master of Reconnaissance - The Master of Reconnaissance is the officer who oversees the Vanguard Space Marines of a Chapter, typically from the 10th Scout Company. He is served by two specialist Lieutenants with an aptitude for covert operations. The Master of Reconnaissance is often the same Captain who serves as the Master of Recruits and the overall commander of the 10th Company.
  • Master of the Signal - A Master of the Signal is an Astartes officer commonly attached to the forward elements of an Adeptus Astartes assault, providing communications support across the wider warzone. He is capable of calling down a pinpoint bombardment from either orbiting fleet assets or static artillery positions nearby, engulfing the foes of Mankind in flaming destruction.

Other Titles

The following are Master titles unique to their respective Chapters.

  • Aurora Talons:
    • Master Bombardier: There are at least five of these officers in this Chapter.
  • Blood Angels:
    • Shield of Baal (1st Company)
    • Master of Sacrifice (3rd Company)
    • Keeper of the Arsenal (5th Company, possibly a variant of the Master of the Arsenal)
    • Caller of the Fires (6th Company)
    • Lord of Skyfall (8th Company)
    • Master of Sieges (9th Company)
    • Warden of the Gates (Overseeing the Chapter Serfs and Servitors)
    • Exalted Herald of Sanguinius (Commander of the Sanguinary Guard)
  • Dark Angels:
    • Supreme Grand Master (Chapter Master)
    • Grand Master of the Librarians (Chief Librarian)
    • Grand Master of the Deathwing (1st Company Captain)
    • Grand Master of the Ravenwing (2nd Company Captain)
    • Grand Master of Chaplains (Master of Sanctity)
    • Grand Master of the Fleet (Master of the Fleet)
    • Grand Master of the Arsenal (Master of the Arsenal)
    • Grand Master of Recruits (Master of Recruits)
    • Grand Master of the Watch (Master of the Watch)
  • Flesh Tearers:
    • Watcher of the Lost: A title usually held by the High Chaplain, who must monitor those of the Chapter who have succumbed to the Black Rage.
  • Salamanders:
    • Forgefather: The Forgefather is a Veteran Salamander who travels the universe seeking out the lost Artefacts of Vulkan and information on the fate of the Primarch of the Salamanders. Upon becoming Forgefather the Salamander also takes on the name of Vulkan. While this post takes him away from the Chapter, he is nevertheless held as one of the lords of the Chapter and granted a seat on the Pantheon Council. The current Forgefather is Vulkan He'stan.
    • Master of Arms: The premier close quarters combat instructor of the Salamanders. Currently held by Master Prebian.
    • Lord of Burning Skies: The Master of the Fleet of the Salamanders also holds this honorific title. Currently held by Captain Dac'tyr.
  • Ultramarines:
    • Regent of Ultramar: A title typically held by the 1st Company Captain who commands the Chapter's Veterans. The current incumbent is First Captain Severus Agemman.
    • Spear of Macragge: This title is given to the Chapter's preeminent tank commander, who enjoys a unique position in that, regardless of rank, he is answerable only to the Chapter Master and not to any company Captain; the current incumbent is Sergeant Antaro Chronus.
    • High Suzerain of Ultramar: This is an honorific title currently held by 2nd Company Captain Cato Sicarius.
    • Knight Champion of Macragge: This is also an honorific title currently held by 2nd Company Captain Cato Sicarius.
    • Master of the Household: Another honorific title currently held by 2nd Company Captain Cato Sicarius.
  • White Scars:
    • Master of the Hunt: The Master of the Hunt is tasked to hunt any enemy who has clashed with the Chapter in the past and, through luck or skill, managed to survive the encounter. The Master of the Hunt is despatched to hunt down a specific enemy every twenty-five Terran years. The title is traditionally bestowed on the Captain of the 4th Company, although the current incumbent, Captain Kor'sarro Khan, commands the 3rd Company.

Sources

Gallery

Primaris Space Marine Forces
Command Primaris CaptainPrimaris LieutenantVanguard LieutenantPrimaris Ancient
Specialists Primaris Apothecary (Helix Adept) • Primaris LibrarianVanguard LibrarianPrimaris Chaplain
Battleline IntercessorVanguard Infiltrator
Close Support InceptorReiverIncursor
Fire Support HellblasterAggressorVanguard EliminatorVanguard Suppressor
Combat Walkers and Vehicles AstraeusRedemptor DreadnoughtRepulsorRepulsor ExecutionerImpulsorInvictor Tactical Warsuit
Aircraft Overlord
Space Marine Forces
Chapter Command Chapter MasterMaster of the KeepMaster of SanctityChief LibrarianMaster of the ApothecarionMaster of the ForgeMaster of the WatchMaster of the FleetMaster of the ArsenalMaster of the MarchesMaster of the RitesMaster of RelicsChief VictuallerLord ExecutionerMaster of RecruitsMaster of ReconnaissanceMaster of the SignalChapter AncientPrimaris AncientChapter ChampionHonour Guard
Company Command Command SquadReclusiam Command SquadCaptainPrimaris CaptainLieutenantPrimaris LieutenantCompany AncientCompany Champion
Specialists Librarian (EpistolaryCodicierLexicaniumPrimaris LibrarianVanguard Librarian) • Chaplain (ReclusiarchPrimaris Chaplain) • Apothecary (Primaris ApothecaryHelix Adept) • Techmarine
Veteran Squads Veteran Marines (Sternguard VeteranVanguard Veteran) • Terminator SquadTerminator Assault Squad
Battleline Squads Tactical SquadIntercessor SquadInfiltrator Squad
Close Support Squads Assault SquadInceptor SquadReiver SquadIncursor SquadSuppressor SquadBike SquadCenturion Assault Squad
Fire Support Squads Aggressor SquadDevastator SquadHellblaster SquadEliminator SquadCenturion Devastator Squad
Neophyte Squads Scout SquadScout Bike Squad
Light Vehicles Assault BikeAttack BikeScout BikeLand Speeder (Land Speeder StormLand Speeder TempestLand Speeder TornadoLand Speeder TyphoonLand Speeder VengeanceDarkshroud)
Combat Walkers Dreadnought (Castraferrum DreadnoughtSiege DreadnoughtHellfire DreadnoughtIronclad DreadnoughtVenerable DreadnoughtMortis DreadnoughtChaplain DreadnoughtLibrarian DreadnoughtFurioso DreadnoughtDeath Company DreadnoughtRedemptor DreadnoughtWulfen DreadnoughtDoomglaive Dreadnought) • Nemesis DreadknightInvictor Tactical Warsuit
Armoured Personnel Carriers RhinoRazorbackDamocles Command RhinoRhino PrimarisRhino AdvancerImpulsor
Main Battle Tanks Predator Destructor (Predator AnnihilatorBaal Predator) • Land Raider (Land Raider PhobosLand Raider CrusaderLand Raider RedeemerLand Raider AchillesLand Raider PrometheusLand Raider Terminus UltraLand Raider AresLand Raider ExcelsiorLand Raider Wrath of MjalnarLand Raider Angel InfernusLand Raider Solemnus AggressorLand Raider Anvilarum) • Deimos Vindicator Laser DestroyerRepulsorRepulsor ExecutionerAstraeus
Artillery WhirlwindVindicatorStalkerHunterWhirlwind HyperiosLand Raider HeliosThunderfire Cannon
Aircraft StormtalonThunderhawkThunderhawk TransporterShadowhawkStormravenStorm EagleFire RaptorStormhawk InterceptorCaestus Assault RamDark TalonNephilim JetfighterStormfangStormwolfCorvus BlackstarOverlordDrop Pod
Rare or Retired Vehicles Contemptor Pattern DreadnoughtDeredeo Pattern DreadnoughtCerberus Heavy Tank DestroyerLeviathan DreadnoughtJavelin Attack SpeederJetbikeDeimos PredatorDeimos RhinoSabre Tank HunterLand Raider ProteusMark IIb Land Raider PhobosSicaran Battle TankSicaran VenatorSicaran Punisher Assault TankSicaran Arcus Strike TankSicaran Omega Tank DestroyerSpartan Assault TankTyphon Heavy Siege TankFellbladeFalchionMastodonDeimos Whirlwind ScorpiusXiphon Pattern InterceptorStormbirdKharybdis Assault Claw
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