Maverick Commander of the 9th Star Mechanised
Born into the middle nobility of Calisi, Vatutin followed his peers into Officer training for the Guard Regiments of the Imperium. Unlike most of his high born fellows, he proved to have a talent and fascination for tactics and strategy. Vatutin’s interest lead him to go beyond the standard battle doctrine texts of his home regiments and delve into the oldest of libraries looking for more tactical studies.
By the time Vatutin reached his senior years at the Academy, he was already labelled a “non-conformer” and “radical” for frequently using battle tactics in simulations that did not conform to the Calisi battle doctrine. Things came to head at Nikolai’s Final Exam. The exam was a massive simulated conflict between two Cadets. Vatutin employed a tactic he dug out of the depths of Guard history and won the simulation decisively. However the tactic was very similar to one employed by the hated Tau and this cause outrage amongst the hard liners of the Academy. Calls were made to have him stripped of rank. His opponent, Ivan Konev, never forgave him for the thrashing and has been a constant opponent even though he now has his own regiment. Vatutin would have been expelled if not for the fact that the head of the Academy was also a avid student of tactics and saw the talent of the young officer. However, Vatutin’s reputation amongst his peers is of a complete maverick and dangerous thinker. Some of the recent woes of the The 9th Guards Mechanised Regiment have been the result of scheming of the hard liners that he has offended.
Colonel Nikolai Vatutin now runs the 9th Guards Mechanised Regiment with the creativity and cunning he has learned from his studies. The troops of the 9th are happy to have Vatutin. He uses the tactics that will work and bring as many of them back as possible. He never gets bogged down in doctrine. The troops are still trying to come up with a nickname for their commander. Its a common discussion point around the fire in the evenings. A point that Nikolai views with amusement.