The Force Commander is said to be the youngest Blood Raven ever promoted to his rank. He earned renown for leading a small strike force against an enemy artillery emplacement deep behind enemy lines during the Hadrian campaign. The attack required weeks of land travel and careful strikes with a token force, yet it was very successful and the entire force survived.
The Force Commander was promoted right after the Hadrian campaign, and the promotion was thought to be because of the successful artillery raid. However, it was later revealed that Chapter Master Azariah Kyras had already decreed the promotion a full year before, in spite of considerable resistance from high ranks and having never met The Force Commander in person.
Dawn of War IIEdit
As newly appointed Force Commander, the Force Commander was first sent to Calderis alongside Sergeant Tarkus to reinforce Captain Davian Thule's Space Marines against an Ork invasion of the sector. After defeating two minor Ork warlords, the Force Commander's strike team discovered Eldar forces stirring up the Orks at Fellhammer Mine, deliberately instigating greenskin attacks against human holdings on that world. After leading forces to the planet Typhon as part of a successful effort to investigate and delay the operations of the Eldar, the Force Commander's strike team rushed back to the desert world of Calderis to support the defense of the Argus Gate (the primary entrance into Calderis' populated settlements), due to an attack by a sizable Ork force that was at risk of breaking through the undermanned detachment of Blood Ravens defenders led by Captain Thule. Though they held the Orks at bay and slew the Ork Mek leading the assault, the battle was interrupted by the sudden arrival of a massive new threat: a Tyranid Hive Fleet had reached Calderis, and had begun planetfall. The severely outnumbered Blood Ravens managed to evacuate in the face of the vast Tyranid swarm, but in the process, Captain Thule was critically poisoned by the vicious attacks of a Tyranid Alpha Warrior.
With a full-on Tyranid invasion of sub-sector Aurelia underway, and the nearest Chapter fleets being weeks away, the Force Commander lead his handful of Blood Ravens against not just the Tyranids, but Orks and Eldar while completing essential objectives in preparations to deal a death blow to the Hive Fleet. These were summarised into three overarching tasks:
- Collecting gene samples for a bio-toxin weapon
- Securing access to Angel Forge on Meridian, so that the bio weapons could be produced on a fleet-wide scale
- Locating and activating an Astronomic Array, to find weaknesses in the Tyranid fleet
The pure gene samples needed to be from alpha strain Tyranid creatures, that were only one generation from the Hive Fleet itself, ensuring that a tailored bio-toxin could target gene-traits that were common to the entire fleet. The Space Marines executed precise surgical strikes to isolate and assassinate several these powerful creatures and collect their corpses, including exacting vengeance on the Alpha Warrior-beast that had incapacitated Captain Thule earlier at the Argus Gate battle.
Access to the Angel Forge on Meridian was secured by assisting the local government to fight off Eldar saboteurs, Ork looters, and Tyranid vanguard organisms, culminating in the revelation that the planetary Governor himself had actually fled the planet in fear. The Blood Ravens, however, gained the trust and support of his adjutant, Administrator Elena Derosa, who provided the access needed to enter Angel Forge just in time to save it from an Eldar sabotage attempt that would have caused the Forge's reactors to catastrophically melt down and destroy Meridian.
Finally, an ancient archeo-tech Astronomic Array was located hidden in the thick jungles of the planet Typhon, and after repairing and activating it, it provided the deep-space augury scans needed to classify every ship in the Hive Fleet and identify the largest Hive Ship, which would be the primary target of the final phase.
By this point, the Tyranid invasion of Typhon had entered its final stages: the biosphere was transformed into what was essentially a digestive environment for the Tyranids, and the colossal Hive Ships had entered low orbit to siphon off biomass from digestion pools on the planet's surface, through huge capillary towers stretching from the ground into space.
In a "do-or-die" mission in the Typhon Graveyard, the Force Commander's strike team delivered two doses of the carefully crafted bio-toxin into veins leading to the large capillary towers feeding the Hive Ships. Whilst the toxins did their work and crippled the Hive Ships in low orbit, the strike team had to fend off large waves of Tyranid swarms bent on the team's annihilation. However, as the team is about to be overwhelmed and all seems lost, Gabriel Angelos' fleet breaks through into Typhon's orbital space, assisting the Commander with reinforcements on the planet surface, while the strike team (with Captain Angelos personally joining the strike team) fought and eliminated the Hive Tyrant Alpha that was leading the Tyranid swarms on Typhon. With both the Tyranid ground and space organisms in disarray, this broke the back of the Hive Fleet and allowed the Blood Ravens' ships to annihilate the ailing Tyranid fleet.
A year after the Tyranid invasion on sub-sector Aurelia, the capital planet of Aurelia, long lost to the Warp, re-emerged after disappearing a thousand years ago. A Blood Raven's distress signal transmits from the surface, resulting in the Force Commander and his squads going planetside to investigate. An invasion of Chaos forces from none other than the infamous Black Legion of Chaos Space Marines ensues across the entire sub-sector. The Force Commander combats the invasion, going from planet to planet in his efforts to stymie the influx. The conflict culminates with his confrontation with the Chaos Lord Araghast, who is destroyed after a concerted effort from the Force Commander.
When the Force Commander finds that there is a traitor in their midst, he travels across the sub-sector in his attempts to identify the traitor, who was already leaking sensitive information to the Chaos forces the entire time. The effort takes him across the sub-sector, including boarding a Space Hulk (a drifting conglomeration of many ancient wrecked ships) to utilize a powerful cogitator system aboard. The search culminates in the confrontation with the traitor, who the Force Commander's team is forced to slay. After the battle with the traitor and attendand Black Legion forces, the Force Commander learns of the true threat to the sub-sector, an ancient Greater Daemon of Nurgle, known as the Great Unclean One Ulkair.
The Force Commander, joining forces with Gabriel Angelos, storm Aurelia and destroy Ulkair, suffering great losses during the battle.
After defeating Ulkair, one of 5 endings can be played, depending on the Force Commander's level of Chaos Corruption.
- If he becomes too corrupted, the Force Commander immediately flees to the Eye of Terror to become a new champion of Chaos.
- If his corruption is beyond the halfway point, Captain Gabriel Angelos would confront the Force Commander, condemning him for his corruption, and execute him personally with the legendary Thunder Hammer, Godsplitter.
- If his corruption is around the half-way mark, Captain Gabriel Angelos condemns the Force Commander as an outcast of the Chapter, and to embark on a crusade of absolution to redeem himself - the Force Commander is to take the Strike Cruiser Retribution to the Eye of Terror, and there he'll battle the enemies of Man for one hundred years. Should he survive, he will be considered to have attained redemption.
- If the Force Commander's corruption is less than the half-way point, yet not fully pure, Gabriel and the Force Commander are branded as renegades to the chapter.
- If the Force Commander remains pure to the end, Captain Gabriel Angelos would commend the Force Commander for his deeds, and grant him command of the 4th Company.
The Force Commander is nowhere to be found in Retribution, most likely exiled into the Eye of Terror for his actions during Chaos Rising. However, the wargear "Hammer of the Nameless" is explicitly stated to be the Thunder Hammer he used to defeat Ulkair.
In Dawn of War Core, the Commander is generally considered to be best employed in a melee role. Ranged weapons tend to slow him down and can put many of his valuable 'aura' skills out of range of your other heroes. Only an end-game Commander armed with a Terminator assault cannon can be as useful as Avitus or Thule in a ranged support role, so it is better to leave the ranged roles to them. Many players leave him in standard power armor for the duration of the game for access to Rally! and Inspiring Shout, both of which substantially buff energy-draining skills such as Avitus' Focused Fire or Tarkus' Tactical Advance. This means a full investment of points in Energy is essential. Maximizing Melee grants access to No Mercy, No Respite, a powerful end-game ability that allows the commander to annihilate most infantry units while your heavy team focuses on bosses or Elites. Remaining points should go into the Stamina tree to boost his health and overall resilience. His weapons loadout largely depends on your luck in drops- the stacked benefits of having two weapons can sometimes outweigh the raw damage a Thunder Hammer can offer.
In Chaos Rising, changes to the skill trees make it wise to put the Commander into a Terminator suit early and armed with an Assault Cannon and Power Fist. His Ranged damage will exceed Avitus' or Thule's in most cases, and the power fist makes him a major threat to Heavy infantry and tanks. Invest early and quickly into the Energy tree to grab at least Invigorating Leadership, which provides an enormous buff to your allies and replaces Rally!. Command Supremacy makes for a powerhouse combination with Avitus and Tarkus' synergy skills, but is not a strict necessity. For a Ranged build, maximizing the Ranged tree is essential to gain the maximum damage output, and the remaining points can go into Stamina to make him more resilient. Deadly Aim should be a priority and Fearless is a good end-game skill to pick up. It should be noted here that you will lose Rally! while in Terminator Armor, so equipping Cyrus or Tarkus with the Stimkit is essential.
For missions that call for base destruction, the Commander's double use of Orbital Bombardment makes short work of any cluster of buildings. This is an ideal tool for search and destroy, and nicely complemented by Cyrus' Infiltrate ability and use of Det Packs, Signum strikes, or Remote Detonators to rapidly level fortified enemies.