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The Emperor's Chosen

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#41 ak-73



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Posted 21 August 2013 - 01:16 PM

I'm probably the only one who is intrigued by the mini-review here (and I am not the usual FFG cheer crowd). Of course it depends A LOT on execution but it sounds so much better than Ascension for Deathwatch. Let me quickly run through why:



Chapter 1: Much, much background goodness about what happens to marines after their deathwatch secondments, and how/why some are selected to come back - or not to leave at all. The criteria for picking Watch-captains, are pondered on.


Why isn't this awesome? This sounds like: finally role-playing material, role-playing as in role-playing. Yeah, no crunchy I-can-kill-you-now-even-better which the game doesn't need at all. If any game doesn't need it, then this one. The sociology of the Deathwatch, its rituals and traditions, its mindset, its outlooks... this is interesting material for study and for setting a realistic and rich stage. I have a player who lost all his Fate Points and who is set to retire his PC. This sounds brilliant.



Chapter 2: In the same way Jericho Reach and GM's guide named most of the current command hierarchy and the Chamber of the Vigil, this section lists off seven famous former kill-teams. More than just background - it tells you who the kill-team consisted of, describes each member, tells you what they were famous for, including several pages of their most famous mission (usually a Famous Last Stand [tm]) - and then gives for each one a set of adventure seeds relating to their legacy and (for all but one kill-team) some of their relics that are left in the deathwatch's possession, which your players are likely to give more of a damn about if they know the whole story rather than just 'it's a +2 relic blade'...


Again, I see this as role-playing material. To evoke a sense of history and lineage. As a GM I can weave that into a mission... just when the players are faced with over-whelming odds, the team leader remembers the legend of X, then I can entertain the players with some brief story-telling, give them all a bonus if the leader passes his command test as he invokes the saints name and it makes everything more epic.




Chapter 3: The meat of the 'rules' section. There's no ascension as a marine. Rather you become awesome as a kill-team as a whole. You agree as a kill-team to buy a legacy for what we shall refer to as a "holy bejeezus metric shed-tonne" of XP each. You pick one of the several options. Each member is awarded by his peers in the kill-team a title from a list such as 'breaker of hordes', 'guardian from afar', 'preceptor of shadows', and so on. Each legacy includes five such titles in various combinations, though you can expand them to add more (at a cost). Each title has a benefit to the bearer befitting the name.


In addition, each legacy gives the team leader three manouvres to call upon - one offensive, one defensive and one tactical, which can again be added to for XP to up to two of each. These are broadly akin to squad actions, except for three differences:


1) They don't cost cohesion to use, instead requiring a check by the team leader (usually command but often tactics)

2) They require a very high squad cohesion score to allow the attempt - as in I think about the lowest needs cohesion 10.

3) The results are very slightly awesome. An out-of-turn suppressive fire from everyone in the kill-team at a defined area plus a 'free reaction' overwatch attack from everyone in the kill-team at anyone moving in the same area, for example.


There are also some unique relics for one of the legacies. Including a custom-made stalker-pattern which is essentially a marine-calibre barratt.


This follows a theme I originally came up with on the forums here when Rites of Battle came out: the main theme of Deathwatch being about growing together as a team of marines originating from different backgrounds. In theory this is brilliant but, again, I don't know the execution.



Chapter 4: A (quite sizeable) adventure picking up from the last stand of a famous former kill-team (one of the ones from Chapter 2)


Can't comment on that, of course.




tl;dr = if you expect Ascension:Deathwatch, it sounds like you will be disappointed. But from a role-playing perspective it sounds like it could be fun.

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#42 Morangias



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Posted 21 August 2013 - 02:18 PM

I'm probably the only one who is intrigued by the mini-review here (and I am not the usual FFG cheer crowd). 

Not the only one, though I'm not much sold on the idea behind the second chapter - so much space devoted to NPCs that aren't even around anymore doesn't strike me as the best use of space, regardless of the quality of the writing. All the rest sounds pretty good.

There is no truth in flesh, only betrayal.

There is no strenght in flesh, only weakness.
There is no constancy in flesh, only decay.
There is no certainty in flesh but death.

#43 Magnus Grendel

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Posted 23 August 2013 - 02:58 AM

"Not the only one, though I'm not much sold on the idea behind the second chapter - so much space devoted to NPCs that aren't even around anymore doesn't strike me as the best use of space, regardless of the quality of the writing. All the rest sounds pretty good."


If you just see it as a massively-fleshed out armoury, it's still not too bad. In addition to the history of the kill-team, there's about three-to-four relics for each team. Twenty-odd new relics is pretty good.



"Could you give us more info on the Adventure? No 'spoilers', of course, but general info (adversaries, setting, objectives) to get a sense of how it would play...?"








Essentially, one of the kill-teams listed in Ch.2 are famous for holding the line against a tyranid invasion whilst the inquisition did something nefarious involving a xenotech relic. The Inquisitor, deciding he'd far rather have the relic for himself, then stabbed them in the back, sealing them outside the secure vault and leaving them and the rest of the Inquisitorial contingent to die a horrible, gribbly death (and half-inching said relic). Said kill-team did, ultimately, die, but somehow, despite being the focus of a massive tyranid assault, died hard enough and slowly enough that they bought enough time for rest of the survivors to escape and tell the Watch-Fortress what happened.


After years of searching, Erioch finally has evidence of where he went. Please go and explain to him that it was a very naughty thing to do.









Edited by Magnus Grendel, 23 August 2013 - 02:59 AM.

#44 Tacitus05



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Posted 30 August 2013 - 01:27 AM

  • Okay, own this book myself (picked it up at Gencon), and for my gaming group we have mixed reviews. The bad news is this book was horribly mis-marketed. Everyone here expected "Ascension" for Space Marines, and its not that. Nothing past rank 8, nothing to make your character uber-badass (isn't that why we play Deathwatch?) beyond a few relics.
  • The good news is, that it is chock full of awesome fluff! I really enjoyed the stories about the legendary kill teams in the Jericho Reach, and their associated relics, which you can pick up
  • Also, you have heard about the "legacy" squad mode and oath. Basically, once you have a group that hits 10-13 cohesion (which my group..of which I am the squad leader is about to hit) you get a totally new mechanic for how to use squad modes. You call out roles, which give the players an option of added bennies, and you can use maneuvers to move your kill team in various ways. Basically, the regular squad mode is what is taught to space marines to fight, but that is as a Tactical squad or part of a company. Your Deathwatch, its you and three or four other marines, and after a while you learn to fight that way. This is the squad mode that kill teams develop. Myself, I like it, but the appeal may not be out there for everyone
  • Is this a book for everyone? No, but I recommend it if you have a played a group for over a year, about rank 5 or above and ready to act like a fluid fighting team that has defeated countless horrors together.

#45 Blood Pact

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Posted 05 September 2013 - 08:26 AM








So... a cool tale, detailing some of the history of the Deathwatch. A Story hook for a new adventure. And statlines for relics.


So just why the hell are people bitching and moaning again?


Oh yeah, cause it's the FFG forums, and no one can ever be satisfied.

#46 peterstepon



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Posted 05 September 2013 - 10:39 AM

I just downloaded my copy yesterday and I like it.  I was a bit dismayed by the negative reviews but was pleasantly surprised.  I will admit, it is different, but I enjoyed my initial skim last night.  It does not have "Kewl Powerz" to make your Space Marines have stats off the charts, but I enjoy the "big picture" approach to the Deathwatch and give some insights on how even small groups of Deathwatch marines are able to turn the tide against the Xenos hordes.   I enjoyed it and you can bet my credit card I would be buying similar products in the future. 

#47 nicola



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Posted 07 September 2013 - 08:00 AM

Just downloaded my copy.

What is good: interesting fluff.

What is bad: the heroic legacy rules are totally useless and bad written.

#48 Theofonias



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Posted 17 September 2013 - 10:10 AM

I was disappointed in this book.  No new specialties, no new Talents or Skills, it's like one of the "story books" but with a new system and 4 pages of Antagonists.  

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