Captain Erwin Ramas
by Commissar Sonata Form

For those of you who haven't read Execution Hour yet by Gordon Rennie, you should, it's a must for die-hard BFG fans. One of the many things which caught our fancy was a certain Captain Ramas, whose crippled body was cybernetically linked to his ship's systems. In the battle scenes, he is able to issue strings of special orders in rapid succession. He thought he'd add a great dimension to the list of fleet commanders, so here he is!

For a warrior of the Imperium, it is considered the highest honor to be able to serve the Immortal God-Emperor in both life, and death. Arcane technologies, some gleaned from the Golden Throne itself, allow the Adeptus Mechanicus to keep the mind of a human being alive for millennia after the body has been broken and rendered useless. We see this technique used as Space Marines (and occasionally the exemplary members of the Imperial Guard and Adepta Sororitas) are encased in the sarcophagi of Dreadnoughts: large robotic fighting machines which play an elite heavy support role on the battlefield. Dreadnoughts, though, are not the only application of this technology.

When Eldar pirates attempted to raid the Imperial outpost on Alamoss III, the Gothic class cruiser Drachenfels was forced to singlehandedly intercept the attackers. The pirates were driven off, but not before Eldar torpedoes smashed into the Drachenfels bridge. All personnel on the command deck were killed except for one man: the reputably stubborn Captain Erwin Ramas.

The Drachenfels was repaired, and Captain Ramas' broken body was encased in a sarcophagus. This sarcophagus was in turn linked directly to the ship systems of the Drachenfels, giving its captain unsurpassed perception over his vessel. As Ramas learned to fully use his new abilities, he found himself issuing orders to counteract problems the crew weren't yet aware of, or exploiting weaknesses in even the most conscientious of the Emperor's enemies.

Captain Erwin Ramas ......... 200 pts
An Imperial fleet of 1,000 points or more may include Captain Erwin Ramas (Ld 9, Two Rerolls).

Captain Ramas is cybernetically linked to the systems of his ship. As a result, he is able to issue orders at incredible speed. However, he may only be fielded aboard the ship he is linked to: the Gothic class cruiser Drachenfels. You must purchase the Gothic class cruiser as normal.

The Drachenfels, as commanded by Erwin Ramas, may be on two special orders at any one time. At the begining of its turn, the Drachenfels may attempt to implement two special orders in tandem, taking a command check for each as normal. If the Drachenfels fails its first special order test at the begining of a turn, no more special orders may be issued, as normal. Brace for Impact works as normal, interrupting other special orders. However, if the Drachenfels begins its turn on BFI, it may only implement one other special order (again, testing as normal).

Interaction of Special Orders:
Standard rules apply in full for all special orders issued. For example, using All Ahead Full or Lock On still means no turns allowed (so using Lock On or AAF with Come To New Heading would be pointless). Special order negative modifiers are also cummulative. For example, being on Brace For Impact and All Ahead Full cuts firepower in half twice, giving the ship one quarter firepower.

Though quite cool-headed, Ramas harbours quite the vengeful streak against the sly Eldar pirates who crippled him and killed his entire senior staff. In a battle against an Eldar fleet, the Drachenfels will never disengage or retreat. Captain Ramas will also make sure that no other ship in the fleet attempts to do the same.

Since the 'dual special orders' rule may be open to 'creative interpretations' by less scrupulous individuals, here's a list of specific examples...

If you go on All Ahead Full, there are no turns allowed. Implementing AAF with Come to New Heading is pointless.

Again, if you go on Lock On, there are no turns allowed. Implementing Lock On with Come to New Heading is pointless.

A cruiser which has used Burn Retros does not need to move 10cm before turning. By being on both these special orders, a cruiser may (before moving) turn 45°, move 10cm (the maximum move distance for a speed 20cm cruiser using Burn Retros), then make an additional 45° turn (thanks to Come to New Heading). Captain Ramas is known to use this manouver to quickly bring his ship's considerable broadside lance strength to bear. However, under these two special orders, those lances would fire at quarter effect.

I don't think I need to explain the inherent dumbness of anyone who even considers combining these two orders. For fun, let's just say that any ship which attempts this receives a Bulkhead Collapse critical (ie: it suffers D6 hits), crushing its own hull as it attempts to slow down and speed up at the same time.

This article is part of our Execution Hour series based on the novel by Gordon Rennie. Surf over to The Black Library and grab a copy.
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