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Single Chapter Play?


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#1 Tinhauser

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Posted 22 July 2014 - 01:06 PM

Hi :)

 

I am about to run my first Deathwatch game, except it might not be Deathwatch; it might be simply Imperial Fists, using the rules from Deathwatch. While I have nothing against Deathwatch, I think I would really like the campaign to focus on a single chapter.

 

Do you guys have any tips or warnings in this regard?

 

Are the Deathwatch Chapter advancements necessary? Can I just ignore them or do I need to make them available to my players?

 

How much trouble am I getting myself into here? :huh:

 

Edit:

Are cross-chapter rivalries between players a big part of the fun?

 

I have only skimmed Rites of Battle (I don't own the RoB book yet); do the Imperial Fists have as much rule support as the ones in the core rulebook?


Edited by Tinhauser, 22 July 2014 - 01:21 PM.


#2 RogalDorn01

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Posted 22 July 2014 - 03:02 PM

The diversity of players is what makes Deathwatch compelling.  Its a story of heroes coming together from wildly different backgrounds and forging a brotherhood together that will stand against the maelstrom of darkness that threatens to sweep humanity aside.  Losing that Dynamic would take away from the game, but if your group is more interested in simply hulk smashing your way through waves of enemies and not as much on character development than it could work.

 

EDIT:  Also, the deathwatch does not have as hardline a chain of command.  The teams are expected to operate more or less autonomously and do so outside the standard strictures of the Codex Astartes.  Playing a single chapter, especially one that doggedly follows the Codex Astartes as Rote means that the characters will not have the same levels of equipment and skill customization that characterize a Deathwatch Kill team.  They will follow the traditional methods of One Heavy, One Special, a Sarge, and bolter guys.  Or you could play them as Sternguard veterans I Guess to give a bit more flexibility with combi weapons.  But you will lose heavy weapons at that point and will not have any assault class people.

 

Alternatively, you could just say screw the fluff and play a "Kill Team" of Imperial Fists that for some magic reason ignore the teachings of Rogal Dorn so you can have all the members of the different classes in one group.


Edited by RogalDorn01, 22 July 2014 - 03:07 PM.

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#3 Kamikazzijoe

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Posted 22 July 2014 - 04:35 PM

Learning to work together is a big part of the roleplay of the game since their isn't a totalitarian leader just a first among equals.  If you're playing the sgt then you're players will likely feel like automatons.  If you're letting one player be the sgt, i see that creating real life problems not game problems.


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#4 Magnus Grendel

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Posted 23 July 2014 - 02:19 AM

If you want to play a single chapter, then I would suggest the following:

 

  • The battle-brothers are playing a veteran squad, hence different archetypes are allowed. Mixing in a devastator into a force of tactical marines is not unusual.If it's a squad of veterans, your 'sarge' is not as dominant a character as he might be for a basic tactical squad.
  • At the same time, persuading the players to pick one archetype - tactical, devastator or assault - and stick to it is a good idea. If you can trust the players to do so, a nominated Sarge also makes sense.
  • No, you shouldn't have access to the Deathwatch Training advances table
  • On the other hand, with everyone as the same chapter, the Imperial Fists Squad Mode abilities are actually useful!
  • The Imperial Fists are a first founding chapter and have access to most of the same stuff. Note that reserve requisition will be more limited - Inquisition assets are out, and guard assets situational, but the fleet assets (the Fists have a huge navy by astartes standards) and Astartes chapter support should become a more commonly available thing - if you're deploying from a strike cruiser with a company of your brethren aboard, requesting a tactical combat-squad be temporarily diverted to cover you as your extraction is no longer an unreasonable request. I would suggest that the stuff out of bounds is:
  1. Special issue ammunition - unless you're explicitely sternguard veterans, bolt weapons only come with standard mass-reactives.
  2. The option of variant armours - no switching to scout armour for ninja shenanigans.
  3. Shotguns - same reason
  4. Conversion beamers, most grenades and missiles except Frag and Krak
  • However, a squad would probably have a transport permanently assigned to it - be that a rhino or razorback, depending on size.
  • Ultimately, there's no reason for it not to work. Bear in mind that you're much more likely to have an 'Only War' feel - the Imperial Fists are probably deployed as a sizeable force in a warzone with a captain or senior sergeant commanding, and thanks to the miracle of astartes C4I tech, the captain can see the position of and talk to each trooper at all times; you'd be much more a 'piece on the board' than a Deathwatch Kill-team.

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#5 Tinhauser

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Posted 23 July 2014 - 04:11 AM

Thank you for your replies! :D

With regard to the group size/structure, I was toying with the thought of the Fists (somewhat secretly ) treating the Codex kind of like a siege / a puzzle to be solved / something to be expanded and/or improved upon. The "excuse" for small team play being that they have ample motivation to experiment with ways of leveraging their numbers given the state of the Galaxy. Sort of a 'everything is a siege' mentality in combination with the Fists' obsession with improvement and perfection.

#6 Kamikazzijoe

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Posted 23 July 2014 - 05:04 AM

The other thing is you should probably give them bonus cohesion.  The cohesion mechanic is there to represent the friction of different styles colliding. When you're all from the same chapter that friction is greatly reduced.



#7 RogalDorn01

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Posted 23 July 2014 - 11:37 AM

Thank you for your replies! :D

With regard to the group size/structure, I was toying with the thought of the Fists (somewhat secretly ) treating the Codex kind of like a siege / a puzzle to be solved / something to be expanded and/or improved upon. The "excuse" for small team play being that they have ample motivation to experiment with ways of leveraging their numbers given the state of the Galaxy. Sort of a 'everything is a siege' mentality in combination with the Fists' obsession with improvement and perfection.

HERESY!!!  The codex is perfect!


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#8 Tinhauser

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Posted 23 July 2014 - 01:51 PM

Thank you for your replies! :D
With regard to the group size/structure, I was toying with the thought of the Fists (somewhat secretly ) treating the Codex kind of like a siege / a puzzle to be solved / something to be expanded and/or improved upon. The "excuse" for small team play being that they have ample motivation to experiment with ways of leveraging their numbers given the state of the Galaxy. Sort of a 'everything is a siege' mentality in combination with the Fists' obsession with improvement and perfection.

HERESY!!!  The codex is perfect!

:D

I'm sure that at least one of my players will voice that exact opinion repeatedly and in character.

#9 Adeptus-B

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Posted 23 July 2014 - 03:54 PM

To justify mixed specialties in one squad, you could use the rationale from the Bloodquest comic: the PCs are volunteers from various Companies that have been sent on a special long-term mission, and they can't return to the Chapter until their quest is complete.



#10 BrotherHuitztli

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Posted 23 July 2014 - 05:34 PM

They could always be a squad "on loan" to an inquisitor. It's my understanding that sometimes chapters do this and it would also allow for the mix up of specialties.

 

On a side note I have toyed with this idea myself. Though I figured it would be best to work out a home brew chapter. They could be an imperial fist successor. Then have the chapter's thing be that they deploy advanced squads in each company who use unconventional tactics to ensure the success of the company or to investigate things.



#11 Magnus Grendel

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Posted 24 July 2014 - 01:20 AM

 

 

Thank you for your replies! :D
With regard to the group size/structure, I was toying with the thought of the Fists (somewhat secretly ) treating the Codex kind of like a siege / a puzzle to be solved / something to be expanded and/or improved upon. The "excuse" for small team play being that they have ample motivation to experiment with ways of leveraging their numbers given the state of the Galaxy. Sort of a 'everything is a siege' mentality in combination with the Fists' obsession with improvement and perfection.

HERESY!!!  The codex is perfect!

:D

I'm sure that at least one of my players will voice that exact opinion repeatedly and in character.

 

 

 

 

If you really want to mess with an ultramarine's head, next time they're operating in Tau space, have them come across a copy of the "Mirror Codex" - essentially, the codex astartes, as reverse-engineered by Commander Farsight from observing astartes tactics on the field, with some footnotes on how to counter the manouvres therein and which ones can be effectively employed by the Tau in turn...

 

Have them find a dataslate showing a tau tactical manual - which they (probably) can't read. The diagrams, however, look familiar, and if they pass a scholastic lore (codex astartes), will result in them going "haaaang on....I know this page...."



#12 RogalDorn01

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Posted 24 July 2014 - 08:19 AM

 

 

 

Thank you for your replies! :D
With regard to the group size/structure, I was toying with the thought of the Fists (somewhat secretly ) treating the Codex kind of like a siege / a puzzle to be solved / something to be expanded and/or improved upon. The "excuse" for small team play being that they have ample motivation to experiment with ways of leveraging their numbers given the state of the Galaxy. Sort of a 'everything is a siege' mentality in combination with the Fists' obsession with improvement and perfection.

HERESY!!!  The codex is perfect!

:D

I'm sure that at least one of my players will voice that exact opinion repeatedly and in character.

 

 

 

 

If you really want to mess with an ultramarine's head, next time they're operating in Tau space, have them come across a copy of the "Mirror Codex" - essentially, the codex astartes, as reverse-engineered by Commander Farsight from observing astartes tactics on the field, with some footnotes on how to counter the manouvres therein and which ones can be effectively employed by the Tau in turn...

 

Have them find a dataslate showing a tau tactical manual - which they (probably) can't read. The diagrams, however, look familiar, and if they pass a scholastic lore (codex astartes), will result in them going "haaaang on....I know this page...."

 

LOLOL  I don't recall Farsight ever doing this...but I want it to be true so much I will suspend disbelief indefinitely.  This is now truth and all other versions of history are void


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#13 Magnus Grendel

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Posted 25 July 2014 - 02:44 AM

LOLOL  I don't recall Farsight ever doing this...but I want it to be true so much I will suspend disbelief indefinitely.  This is now truth and all other versions of history are void

 

 

It's in the Farsight Enclaves supplement for the Tau - doing so is what got him noticed by Commander Puretide in the first place and elevated to his supreme command position.

 

The Mirrorcodex is a signature wargear (relic) item choosable for a Tau commander in that book.


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#14 Tinhauser

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Posted 27 July 2014 - 06:30 PM

First of all thank you all very much for your replies. :) It really got me thinking.
 
 

They could always be a squad "on loan" to an inquisitor. It's my understanding that sometimes chapters do this and it would also allow for the mix up of specialties.
 
On a side note I have toyed with this idea myself. Though I figured it would be best to work out a home brew chapter. They could be an imperial fist successor. Then have the chapter's thing be that they deploy advanced squads in each company who use unconventional tactics to ensure the success of the company or to investigate things.

 
I agree that there is a need for homebrew. While I really like the Imperial Fists, I have come to the conclusion that while they are awesome and are excellent representatives of the "Space Marine experience" and the WH40K universe - especially their central role in the Heresy - I would likely have to bend their Imperial Fistiness too much to make it work in the long run. Also, there is quite simply too much dark grimness that would become too indirect by the players being Imperial Fists.
 
Looking to homebrew for a way out, while retaining a strong and direct connection to the lore, I am now strongly leaning towards Death Guard loyalists. Not on loan to the Inquisition but under close scrutiny and constant suspiscion by the Inquisition (think less cooperation; more blackmail/slavery/forced compliance). This allows me to do the following:

  • I can easily bring the Heresy lore very directly into play.
  • The grim darkness of the Inquisition "naturally" becomes more present as the players are also very much "on the receiving end" of things, being directly subjected to the paranoia.
  • I don't really have to worry about Codex compliance.
  • I don't have to keep tabs on too comprehensive a list of NPCs not of my own making. (Homebrew to the rescue!)
  • I can still use the Inquisition as quest-givers and to a certain extent it makes sense that they have some control over requisition; I imagine they're game-technically very much in the same role as in regular Deathwatch, just a lot nastier and much more menacing towards the players (e.g. they can have the Deathwatch hunt them down).
  • With some rather minor tweaking, I can probably use the majority of published adventures.
  • I don't need any excuses to bring in awesome older stuff like Mk. II, III, IV and V armour.

I think the Jericho Reach is just the kind of place, where a loyalist Death Guard legion/chapter - even one sporting original pre-heresy heraldry and colors and all - could be relatively "safely" tucked away and allowed to continue to serve the Imperium of Man, without too many people knowing about it.

 

I really like the Codex/Mirror Codex idea! :D

 

Once again, thanks a lot for your comments, I definitely feel like this will be much smoother than having to constantly challenge Codex doctrine with a group of Imperial Fists. I really appreciate your insights, I am very glad I decided to post here.

 

I will post the Chapter profile, once I have a first shot done. Has someone else made a profile for a loyalist Death Guard chapter? My google-fu is apparently too weak to easily find one.


Edited by Tinhauser, 27 July 2014 - 06:32 PM.


#15 RogalDorn01

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Posted 28 July 2014 - 09:24 AM

Interesting concept.  So you are saying that there are death guard loyalists who have been operating in secret as part of the Ordo Xenos for ten thousand years.  This can't be those same marines clearly.  So if this was true, I would love to hear your explanation regarding how they recruit new marines.  In fact, there are a great many questions about the logistics of how this could or would work.  I can't wait to see what you come up with. 


"And now...witness the firepower of this fully armed and operational invisible doggy fence..."





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