Let’s go back to the 1980s when the mighty Space Marines had police to keep them in line – and maybe still do…
Once upon a time in 1987 Space Marines were young. GW was roughing out their basic concepts, chapters and background. Rogue Trader had this seminal image that kicked off the whole thing:
Most of the original chapters who would go down through the ages like the (black) Dark Angels and Space Wolves were there. Some became evolutionary dead ends like the Rainbow Warriors, rarely heard of again. Some like the Iron Hands and White Scars would become sleeper chapters for 20 years and remerge many editions later. Still, there was a lot of 1980s weirdness on this page like this:
See that guy over on the left? Field Police? WTF? Space Marines are utterly loyal super soldiers with iron discipline. Why on Terra would they need MPs? Thunder Warriors – sure, they party pretty hard, but Adeptus Astartes – no way! In any case, remember that logo up there.
Meet the Disciplinary Corps
Fast forward three decades years to the Forge World book – INFERNO. Feast your eyes on this:
Recognize that shoulderpad symbol? “Field Overseer Militant Authority” sounds a whole lot like Field Police to me. Even more interesting is the tale of the Molorian Revolt which tells a story very much at odds with the cold professional killers mystique we associate with marines. It appears that at least at the very early origin of the Legions, marines were still very much individuals and could get carried away in the field – hence the Field Police. It is noted that the two legions with the most of these personnel were the VIth (Space Wolves) and the XIIth (World Eaters). Also note the sinister implication that all the other Legions used these officers in smaller numbers.
Now fast forward to the more recent Forge World Book MALEVOLENCE and we turn our attention to the noble Blood Angels. Surely the noble sons of Sanguinus would have no need of such internal security methods…
Note that the Blood Angel order is not only charged with watching for signs of madness, but treachery. Just about any Legion or chapter could have use for that. A solid argument could be made that the entire Inner Circle of the Dark Angels could be descended from this type of organization – or perhaps in the case of the entire Unforgiven, what could occur if the Disciplinary Corps institutionally took over an entire Astartes Legion.
Hobby It Up
It’s another very cool little asterisk to the tale of marines and maybe a cool way to mark out a single model in your 30K army. Heck if you have a 40K army that you think represents the type of soldiers who might get “carried away” from time to time – why not throw in a specially painted pauldron on one of your characters just for a great talking point. I’m looking at you Blood Drinkers and Space Sharks!
~If anyone paints some up – we NEED pics. What current day Chapters do you think might still use the Disciplinary Corps?