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#21 Traejun

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Posted 04 April 2014 - 12:19 PM

And if a bolt pistol's end-game gear for your group, it sounds like you want to be very much on the gritty 'charge across no man's land into their heavy guns while using the remains of the last assault for cover' end of the scale. Which is all fine, fun, and in-character, but...you might want to think about having someone on hand to make sure they move in the right direction, maybe someone authorized to execute anyone running away... :P

 

It's not so much that simple fact that bolt pistols are "end-game gear" (which they are for Guardsmen), its that people forgot that Only War is about being Guardsmen.  The whole concept of the game is that the PCs are just rank and file Imperial Guardsmen that are meant to eventually become the "heroes of the regiment" (which I believe it says somewhere in the corebook).  Starting as a bad ass is contrary to the design intent of the system - and, to be clear, Commissars start as bad asses.

 

This argument, for me anyway, is just another version of the ancient debate between those that want to "earn" up to what they picture their character being and those that want to start there.  Commissars start as a "set" archtype, as do almost all the specialists.  There is no room for expanding, its simply about becoming a better version of what you are when you start.

 

In my opinion, shared by my players, Only War is about the process of becoming the hero, not starting there and simply living up to your billing.  This is likely why the current squad is comprised of 6 guardsmen, with only a single specialist, who chose it at the request of the person playing the Sergeant.  That fits the system and the fluff.  My players would rather start as just another stick, but end up being a hero... or die trying.  There wasn't much of a debate there.  They simply gravitated towards it because, well... it seems clear from the materials and fluff that this is what you're supposed to do.

 

As for the last bit - about charging across no man's land - we haven't gotten to that kind of fight yet.  I'm certainly going to eventually give them a taste of that lovely attrition war that the IG seems to love, but not yet.  As a Light Infantry Regiment, they are not geared for line warfare.  If they'd chosen something beefier, they'd have been doing that kind of thing from jump.



#22 Annaamarth

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Posted 04 April 2014 - 11:19 PM

Ideally, I should expect an OW gm to tell his group to either "pick only grunts" or to "pick only specialists."  I could also see a group based around a Commissar or Psyker and his bodyguard unit (because that is what happens), or I could see a group based around a single tank with an enginseer and a crew.

 

Contrary to the suggestions of others, I could actually see armoured companies where most armour pieces have a junior enginseer assigned to them.  They would be unusual companies, and the enginseers would be junior as all hell, but I could see it.  It's even more likely if you aren't playing Imperial Guard, but instead Forge World Skitarii, or a particularly advanced PDF.

 

The "pick only specialists" option lends itself well towards the crack unit that supports the rest of the regiment, lending its support across the battlefield as required.  A psyker, a Commissar, an Enginseer and two stormtroopers?  Sounds like an elite squad to me.


RIP AND TEAR THROUGH THE TIDE OF BLOOD WITH BATTLESUIT PILOT. SUPLEX HIVE TYRANTS. DO WHATEVER, YOU'RE PILOTING A HUGE-ASS MECHA.

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#23 Spinner

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Posted 05 April 2014 - 05:09 AM

 

And if a bolt pistol's end-game gear for your group, it sounds like you want to be very much on the gritty 'charge across no man's land into their heavy guns while using the remains of the last assault for cover' end of the scale. Which is all fine, fun, and in-character, but...you might want to think about having someone on hand to make sure they move in the right direction, maybe someone authorized to execute anyone running away... :P

 

It's not so much that simple fact that bolt pistols are "end-game gear" (which they are for Guardsmen), its that people forgot that Only War is about being Guardsmen.  The whole concept of the game is that the PCs are just rank and file Imperial Guardsmen that are meant to eventually become the "heroes of the regiment" (which I believe it says somewhere in the corebook).  Starting as a bad ass is contrary to the design intent of the system - and, to be clear, Commissars start as bad asses.

 

This argument, for me anyway, is just another version of the ancient debate between those that want to "earn" up to what they picture their character being and those that want to start there.  Commissars start as a "set" archtype, as do almost all the specialists.  There is no room for expanding, its simply about becoming a better version of what you are when you start.

 

In my opinion, shared by my players, Only War is about the process of becoming the hero, not starting there and simply living up to your billing.  This is likely why the current squad is comprised of 6 guardsmen, with only a single specialist, who chose it at the request of the person playing the Sergeant.  That fits the system and the fluff.  My players would rather start as just another stick, but end up being a hero... or die trying.  There wasn't much of a debate there.  They simply gravitated towards it because, well... it seems clear from the materials and fluff that this is what you're supposed to do.

 

As for the last bit - about charging across no man's land - we haven't gotten to that kind of fight yet.  I'm certainly going to eventually give them a taste of that lovely attrition war that the IG seems to love, but not yet.  As a Light Infantry Regiment, they are not geared for line warfare.  If they'd chosen something beefier, they'd have been doing that kind of thing from jump.

 

 

 

The Commissar doesn't have to start out as a grizzled badass (beyond his Commissarial status, which admittedly says a lot) any more than a Sergeant or a Heavy Gunner - he could have been a Commissar-cadet three weeks ago, and this is his first solo assignment. He steps into his role and expands it via experience, just like every other specialization in the game. The only difference I can see is the lack of an option to switch specializations, which no one had until Hammer of the Emperor. Even that's not going to stay, thanks to Shield of Humanity.

 

Good to know your group is having fun and has collectively worked out what they want to do, though. That's the important bit. :)

 

(...but seriously, have the Departmento Munitorum misfile some paperwork and send 'em into a trench clearing assault. Nothing quite like a player's expression after they get news of something like that!)



#24 venkelos

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Posted 06 April 2014 - 09:33 AM

 

And if a bolt pistol's end-game gear for your group, it sounds like you want to be very much on the gritty 'charge across no man's land into their heavy guns while using the remains of the last assault for cover' end of the scale. Which is all fine, fun, and in-character, but...you might want to think about having someone on hand to make sure they move in the right direction, maybe someone authorized to execute anyone running away... :P

 

It's not so much that simple fact that bolt pistols are "end-game gear" (which they are for Guardsmen), its that people forgot that Only War is about being Guardsmen.  The whole concept of the game is that the PCs are just rank and file Imperial Guardsmen that are meant to eventually become the "heroes of the regiment" (which I believe it says somewhere in the corebook).  Starting as a bad ass is contrary to the design intent of the system - and, to be clear, Commissars start as bad asses.

 

This argument, for me anyway, is just another version of the ancient debate between those that want to "earn" up to what they picture their character being and those that want to start there.  Commissars start as a "set" archtype, as do almost all the specialists.  There is no room for expanding, its simply about becoming a better version of what you are when you start.

 

In my opinion, shared by my players, Only War is about the process of becoming the hero, not starting there and simply living up to your billing.  This is likely why the current squad is comprised of 6 guardsmen, with only a single specialist, who chose it at the request of the person playing the Sergeant.  That fits the system and the fluff.  My players would rather start as just another stick, but end up being a hero... or die trying.  There wasn't much of a debate there.  They simply gravitated towards it because, well... it seems clear from the materials and fluff that this is what you're supposed to do.

 

As for the last bit - about charging across no man's land - we haven't gotten to that kind of fight yet.  I'm certainly going to eventually give them a taste of that lovely attrition war that the IG seems to love, but not yet.  As a Light Infantry Regiment, they are not geared for line warfare.  If they'd chosen something beefier, they'd have been doing that kind of thing from jump.

 

I can see some of what you say, but this game also doesn't allow for your characters to "grow into" Specialists. Were you born an Ogryn? No? Then you'll never get to be one. Did your parents die heroes? You WEREN'T raised by the Schola Progenium? Nope, no Storm Trooper or Commissar for you. Were you born a Psyker? No? Have you begged the Ruinous Powers to "gift" you with such lofty might? What do you mean you don't want to answer? The Imperium doesn't have the 5th Amendment. Get me that bolt pistol. Well, then you'll never be a Psyker. That's whole unit types of the IG you would never get to play in this game. Too many of the things in this game/setting are born to be options, so... And honestly, unless your character likes the idea of playing a character looking at a light-up strategy table, directing little dots, or a guy on the hill, directing hordes he's not in, there might be certain "regular" Guardsman jobs they'll never aspire to, either. There's just too much excluded to be a fun 40k game, this way.

 

Certainly, I can see where some Specialists don't make sense at the start, and some never do, but unless I am the one player who finds a group whose been playing for a long while, wanting another player, and adding my Specialist into their Veteran squad, I'd be a sad, sad player, personally. I could play a Sergeant or a Heavy happily enough, I suppose, but me being me, I like Psykers.



#25 Traejun

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Posted 06 April 2014 - 10:31 AM

If you being you it's bored with a class that is not a special snowflake, Only War isn't for you. Go play rogue trader, dark heresy or black crusade. Those are the systems for people that want to play an awesome archetypes. But, if you're an awesome player, regardless of class, Only War is for you.
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#26 venkelos

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Posted 06 April 2014 - 12:53 PM

I can mostly agree with that; of the games in the line, RT and DW are the two I would most enjoy playing, partly because of the snowflake syndrome, and partly because of the scope. I DO like OW, on many levels, and like I said, I believe I could enjoy at least playing a Heavy, a Sergeant, something with Commander, if the GM is using those, or some such. I just don't agree with them having one game where all the "snowflakes" are absent. Your average Guardsman cannot hope to fathom tech, because the Tech Priests don't allow it, so they had better not need to do anything more than patch a vehicle, or disassemble a gun. I'm not a big fan of Storm Troopers, Commissars, Ogryns, Ratlings, or Priests, but they are the equivalents that fill the various roles as in other FFG 40K games.

 

I don't want to keep arguing about this; I see where you are coming from, and I feel that these various "others" should be represented in game more than an NPC cameo. Certainly, I enjoy a bit of a snowflake; it's an excuse to be more noticeable in "life" than I am in my own. Of the various grunt classes, only the Medic and Operator make me look on with trepidation; I don't particularly like either, even with their obvious uses/necessity. Give me bossiness, an autocannon, or a meltagun, and I'll probably be happy enough. ;)



#27 cpteveros

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Posted 06 April 2014 - 06:13 PM

I just don't feel like the Specialists really have a role in much of the game, outside an all-specialist group. The rules as written seem to imply the game is meant to be played as a group of grunts, fighting. After all, the whole game is pretty much combat. To me, the Specialists were thrown in as an afterthought. In a normal campaign they wouldn't be running around with the same squad for years on years. 

 

Speaking of which, I'm a little disappointed there aren't really any kind of rules beyond being a grunt. What if you want to play as a Lieutenant, or the command staff of a regiment? Where are those rules? Do guardsmen never get promoted?

 

There just seems to be a general lack of advancement, rank-wise. Granted, OW is a very fatal game, and not many survive long. But those that do, rise to the top. Your average troopers get older, more experienced and become sergeants. Your sergeants may become commissioned officers, after enough time. That's how the military works; nobody stays the same rank with the same job their entire career.



#28 Braddoc

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Posted 06 April 2014 - 07:01 PM

The thing is also that the Commissar and Storm Trooper, possibly the most 'badass' specialists career, looks to much like the nigh-mandatory grunt classes; Sarge for the Commissar and the Weapon Specialist for the Storm Trooper (at least now; the ST used to be more assault oriented than just a social-less Weap Spec with top armour and gun).  The others are unique enough to be not like the guardsmen classes and not step on anyone else's toes so to speak.

 

Also the fluff, or at least the interpretation of most have of it, is pretty linear for those two; Commissars goes about shooting guardsmen for the slightest of offense, imagined or not, while the storm trooper drops in via Valkyrie and walks away from explosions.  Hence why most players who played them act just like that; it's not inter-party killing Mr. GM sir, it's what commissars do!  Not my fault Johnny failed his WP and his character ran away; he can burn his only fate point to keep playing y'know..

 

I admit thought, I only played 2 sessions worth of OW (the GM dropped) playing a cowardly Storm Trooper (the demeanours list is great btw) and ran Final Testament with 3 players in which we only had an Ogryn as specialist (Sarge and heavy as the other two), and it wasn't that fun; he ran into melee any chance he had, went around camp intimidating any and everyone (yes, including Munitorum clerks, Commissars, Officers of other regiments etc etc) got into critical every other encounter (the other encounter got him down to a handful of wounds) and despite getting an autocannon at the end, still was charging into melee even if that meant running 150 meters into open ground, under fire.

 

I didn't continued running OW after that campaign.


Edited by Braddoc, 06 April 2014 - 07:02 PM.

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#29 cpteveros

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Posted 07 April 2014 - 12:25 AM

Which is part of the reason I haven't allowed players to be Specialists. They are rather overpowered and one-sided, destroying the point of being a squishy wimp of a guardsman. 

 

My only issue is with my guys not roleplaying much, and always trying to craft/req/loot the best possible gear. I think they are playing it more like a loot-gathering dungeon game (I blame exposure to modern CRPGs) than as the regular grunts with regular gear that they ought to be.


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#30 Askil

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Posted 07 April 2014 - 02:08 AM

We played my stormie with same gear as everone else in the regiment, (flak vest, autogun and stub auto) without the advanced toys he`s just a CQB grunt with a stealth skill who uses mentor to tell everyone else to shut up when they are trying to be sneaky.

 

All of which it well with his backround as a schola trained soldier turned drill sergeant who got sent to the penal legion after wathing his trooprs die, suffering a breakdown and burning his stripes.

 

Specialistsdon`t break the game but they do strain the fluff if taken at face value.


Edited by Askil, 07 April 2014 - 02:12 AM.


#31 Traejun

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Posted 07 April 2014 - 02:16 AM

Which is part of the reason I haven't allowed players to be Specialists. They are rather overpowered and one-sided, destroying the point of being a squishy wimp of a guardsman. 
 
My only issue is with my guys not roleplaying much, and always trying to craft/req/loot the best possible gear. I think they are playing it more like a loot-gathering dungeon game (I blame exposure to modern CRPGs) than as the regular grunts with regular gear that they ought to be.


Don't let players game the rules to get advantages. The Departmeno Munitorum is very clear on most things regarding gear. Even if the rules allow them to try to roll on plasma weapons does not mean you need to.

#32 venkelos

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Posted 07 April 2014 - 07:19 AM

Which is part of the reason I haven't allowed players to be Specialists. They are rather overpowered and one-sided, destroying the point of being a squishy wimp of a guardsman. 

 

My only issue is with my guys not roleplaying much, and always trying to craft/req/loot the best possible gear. I think they are playing it more like a loot-gathering dungeon game (I blame exposure to modern CRPGs) than as the regular grunts with regular gear that they ought to be.

They were tacked on because the players might run into other stuff beyond their "grunt" ken. Imperials are kept simle (read: "stupid"), because a simpleton is easier to repel Chaos from. Your mind isn't labored with thoughts of Daemons, beautiful aliens, or how the tank works, mechanically. You know how to serve the Emperor, shoot for the Emperor's foes, die for the Emperor, and if you've been paying attention, killing the Emperorp's foes, to live to serve the Emperor another day (fluff-wise, anyway). You have a Psyker because the opposing forces, be they Orks, Chaos, or S.Dom. forces MIGHT have some, and if they do, and you don't, it can hurt, and just be confusing. It's easier to have a Psyker than to have an Inquisition-kitted Acolyte with anti-Psyker gear, to do the same job. You bring a Tech-Priest because you might find some weird gizmo, and wouldn't know what it does, how to turn it on, or if it's already doing it. Priests are nice because you WILL see stuff to make your skin crawl, and the mind is a fragile thing, thanks to the Ecclessiarchy.

 

Of course, there is also the biggest reason; they were in the codex. If you go back to DH, and especially Ascension, several character options got in there ONLY because they were in the 4E Daemonhunters Codex. They weren't fitting, necessarily, they weren't always balanced, even against each other, but they were playable, because we owned that codex, and practically every option in one was in the other. The OW Specialists also belong, to some point, but we'll be honest, some are there simply because they are figured into the IG Codex, and because if a GM is going to NPC it, some player will want to PC it, and it's easier than making some BS up later. Also, it's easier to copy/paste if all the archetypes are always available. Every other FFG 40K game has SOME playable psyker, so this one does, too, or they could've skipped the rules, for the most part. They have a tech-monkey, so OW does.

 

As for Officers, fluff has many of them being armchair generals, leading from a bunker. It would be weird to be your Colonel, directing distant hordes around, and what do the other character types do with you? Some regiments don't promote that way, anyway, so the rules might've been iffy.


Edited by venkelos, 07 April 2014 - 07:25 AM.

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#33 cpteveros

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Posted 08 April 2014 - 12:53 AM

I see your point on the Specialists, which makes sense. Commissars, psykers, and storm troopers are all cool and everyone wants to be one. Fluff-wise, I just didn't see the reason. Though the way GW and company have been treating the fluff, it doesn't seem to matter how it would work.

 

As for the higher ups, I've always gotten the impression there were two types of IG officers: Command, sitting in bunkers ruthlessly sacrificing whole regiments, and the rest of the commissioned officers, who seem to lead from the front. Maybe it's because that's how most of the books seem to be written, or because HQ choices are a requirement in TT. There just seems to be a lot of brass running around on the battlefield. 



#34 venkelos

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Posted 08 April 2014 - 10:16 AM

Yeah, while you could argue that the big HQ's of other factions wouldn't really be hoofing it in "little" excursions (unless you prior spout something of being a smidge of some bigger, massive battle elsewhere), you can see Marneus Calgar, Abaddon the Despoiler, Ghaszgul Mag Uruk Thraka, or whomever have you, and the IG need to have their own "equal" heroes, even being merely mortals, so you get Creed, Straken, Harker, and the rest fighting in the trenches. While i certainly believe that Creed and Kell hauled themselves out of the subt. command bunker when Abaddon assaulted Cadia, I don't think he does that often, morale or not.

 

On the other hand, yeah I believe SOME IG Officers fight from the front, so I'm not saying otherwise. in the RPG, however, I imagine a higher-ranked Officer being in charge of a lot more soldiers than a group the players comprise, and it just doesn't fit for me. If you can make it work, that would be cool, however.



#35 cpteveros

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Posted 08 April 2014 - 11:07 AM

If this was more of a real life military force, obviously the higher ups would not be taking the field. Junior officers rarely would, either. The TT just presents this differently, and I've taken this as how the IG operates. 

 

I just don't see much in the way of advancement in OW, which I think is sorely missed. Say a character managed to survive throughout a campaign, and receives his advanced specialty and all. What then? In real life, the longer you serve, the higher your rank will (generally) be. People get promoted and receive new jobs and duties. Do characters in OW just keep buying skills and talents until they are killed? 

 

Maybe it is a topic for a later expansion book, or something. I don't know. Just feels to me like the game lacks depth in that regard.



#36 Traejun

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Posted 08 April 2014 - 11:20 AM

The Commander archetype from Hammer of the Emperor is essentially the playable officer.  I've always viewed them as a Lieutenant of sorts.  They would certainly still lead from the front.



#37 Annaamarth

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Posted 08 April 2014 - 07:23 PM

If this was more of a real life military force, obviously the higher ups would not be taking the field. Junior officers rarely would, either. The TT just presents this differently, and I've taken this as how the IG operates. 

 

I just don't see much in the way of advancement in OW, which I think is sorely missed. Say a character managed to survive throughout a campaign, and receives his advanced specialty and all. What then? In real life, the longer you serve, the higher your rank will (generally) be. People get promoted and receive new jobs and duties. Do characters in OW just keep buying skills and talents until they are killed? 

 

Maybe it is a topic for a later expansion book, or something. I don't know. Just feels to me like the game lacks depth in that regard.

 

Starting characters: Rookie meat.  See 'Fifteen Hours.'

 

More experienced characters: Veterans, Army Rangers.  See 'Gaunts Ghosts.'

 

High end characters: Seals, Green Berets, Delta.  Inquisitorial Stormtroopers or Last Chancers.  Still not the ones making decisions.


RIP AND TEAR THROUGH THE TIDE OF BLOOD WITH BATTLESUIT PILOT. SUPLEX HIVE TYRANTS. DO WHATEVER, YOU'RE PILOTING A HUGE-ASS MECHA.

 -Errant, on how Rogue Trader ought to be played


#38 cpteveros

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Posted 08 April 2014 - 11:01 PM

 

If this was more of a real life military force, obviously the higher ups would not be taking the field. Junior officers rarely would, either. The TT just presents this differently, and I've taken this as how the IG operates. 

 

I just don't see much in the way of advancement in OW, which I think is sorely missed. Say a character managed to survive throughout a campaign, and receives his advanced specialty and all. What then? In real life, the longer you serve, the higher your rank will (generally) be. People get promoted and receive new jobs and duties. Do characters in OW just keep buying skills and talents until they are killed? 

 

Maybe it is a topic for a later expansion book, or something. I don't know. Just feels to me like the game lacks depth in that regard.

 

Starting characters: Rookie meat.  See 'Fifteen Hours.'

 

More experienced characters: Veterans, Army Rangers.  See 'Gaunts Ghosts.'

 

High end characters: Seals, Green Berets, Delta.  Inquisitorial Stormtroopers or Last Chancers.  Still not the ones making decisions.

 

Which is what I've seen it as. However, even the Seals, Green Berets, Delta Force soldiers become noncoms and either get too old to fight and retire, or become commissioned officers. There just seems to be an indefinite "badassery increase" and not so much actual advancement in the game.

 

As for the Commander, it's a sergeant 2.0. I'm talking actual rules and examples of how to use officers, and potentially some uses for them outside of combat.



#39 Annaamarth

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Posted 09 April 2014 - 04:33 AM

Um.  If the characters get old enough to retire, then it's up to the GM to either say "you get old and actually buy the farm, where do you want to retire?", "The Commissariat called.  They want you to teach at the sector Schola.  Rejection is not an option.", or "You're getting old.  Lose ten BS, WS, S, Ag. Each."

 

Alternatively, if you want to turn it into a Commissioned Officer game, crib the mass combat rules.  Or go play the tabletop.  If you want to play the Noncom/Squad Leader game, take away their comrades and give them each squads instead.  Functionally, promotion is no different from commendation, and should be done at GM discretion.  If the players are asking for it, grant an Elite career change.  Make them invest XP in a tactics skill, a la Deathwatch.

 

Maybe I'm just missing your point, but to me OW is all about being soldiers, and it seems to me that you're talking about either A) what happens when they get old and stop being soldiers or B) what happens when they get old and stop being grunts.  In the case of A) Character retires and lives happily ever after.  Congratulations, you won.  Or maybe it turns into a high-level Dark Heresy game, or one of the characters is awarded a Warrant of Trade for some reason.  Either way, you aren't playing OW anymore.  In the case of B), either you get creative with mass combat rules or, like I said earlier, you start playing the tabletop.  In what way are the tools already provided by Dark Heresy, Rogue Trader, and Black Crusade not sufficient for all the ways you might have to transition from an endgame scenario?

 

Edit: Oh yes.  And don't forget that true advancement to the senior Officer ranks pretty much requires political backing.  The Imperium doesn't do mustangs- at least, not outside of the Astartes, where every Chapter Master was once a Scout.


Edited by Annaamarth, 09 April 2014 - 04:36 AM.

RIP AND TEAR THROUGH THE TIDE OF BLOOD WITH BATTLESUIT PILOT. SUPLEX HIVE TYRANTS. DO WHATEVER, YOU'RE PILOTING A HUGE-ASS MECHA.

 -Errant, on how Rogue Trader ought to be played


#40 cpteveros

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Posted 09 April 2014 - 11:21 AM

You make a very good point, I'm glad you've answered my question fully. My players are nowhere near ready for each leading a squad, but if that day comes, then they could each get a handful of comrades and that would be it, using the mass combat rules. 

 

I also like the idea of using the other games - it would give me the chance to branch out into something other than go here, find thing/person, kill enemies sort of mission that seems to be the go to type for OW. 

 

I am aware that Joe Blow would never make his way to High Command, I was just commenting on the distinction between the officers who lead from the front, and the commanders who lead from a bunker. Besides, it wouldn't be much of a game if all of the players just sat in a room with a map, no matter how creative I got with rules.

 

EDIT: as for my point, it wasn't so much "What do you do when they all get old?" as it was "What sort of advancement opportunities are there for players outside of multiclassing?"


Edited by cpteveros, 09 April 2014 - 11:24 AM.





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