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The Baron Reviews Hammer of the Emperor on Dark Reign


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#21 HappyDaze

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Posted 26 May 2013 - 01:00 PM

SilverAlen said:

Yeah, this review is completely accurate in my opinion. Glad I split the cost of the pdf between me and some friends. Though I've got one complaint to add. 

The example regiments and regiment creation rules bother me for another reason. You see,  I don't mind messed up rules, typos etc it happens. But if they had bother to acutally follow their own rules when making the example regiments, the flaws would be immeaditely noticeable. In fact, it is quite possible they did, fixed them for the example regiments without making note, and left the actual creation rules for a FAQ.

Look at tanith first, didn't even mention how their equipment is impossible to get with standard rules. To the point where, even allowing a fair trade off on equipment they gave up from the guerilla regiment, they clock in with roughly twice the amount of extra gear. That could be in part because guerilla regiments don't get any armor whatsoever. We also have the karskins, who completely ignore the grenadiers’ equipment block entirely, probably because it has such gems as everyone in the squad getting a aux grenade launcher yet thye have nothing but a laspistol to put it on, in favor of a set of equipment which actually makes sense. 

Read the bieginning of the Regiment Creation rules in the Core Rulebook. it explains that they are merely guidelines and can be altered or ignored as the the GM and players - or in this case the authors for the canon regiments - desire. It's intended to be much more loosely applied than many players and GMs may be comfortable with from FFG's products (where rules are usually quite strict).


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#22 SilverAlen

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Posted 26 May 2013 - 05:08 PM

HappyDaze said:

 

Read the bieginning of the Regiment Creation rules in the Core Rulebook. it explains that they are merely guidelines and can be altered or ignored as the the GM and players - or in this case the authors for the canon regiments - desire. It's intended to be much more loosely applied than many players and GMs may be comfortable with from FFG's products (where rules are usually quite strict).

 

 

To put it another way, if I'm just going to use my best judgment in any case, why did I buy this book? I could just make stuff up as I go along on my own. I already had a Vahallan variant regiment I made by tweaking the imperial world rules, and I had a variant Karskin regiment built already that's not to far off from what FFG printed. Anyone can make up rules on their own time and get them balanced with some testing, buying a shop book is spending cash so you don't need to. It's like buying an adventure book and finding out it's just an outline of an adventure, it feels like wasted cash. 



#23 HappyDaze

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Posted 26 May 2013 - 05:49 PM

Nobody made you buy it. For you, since you have already shown the ability to make up your own stuff, it is probably not as worthwhile of a purchase as it might be for others. I'd always recommend looking over a product and its reviews before spending money if your concerns run this way. I knew I was getting something which would have a number of rules suggestions - many of which I'd be unlikely to use - so it didn't bother me much. Besides, every game product is a luxury purchase. It's not like they fill any true needs.

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#24 N0-1_H3r3

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Posted 27 May 2013 - 05:20 AM

SilverAlen said:

To put it another way, if I'm just going to use my best judgment in any case, why did I buy this book? I could just make stuff up as I go along on my own.

You could. But then, there's a middle always excluded by this argument. Sure, you can create your own stuff, so why bother buying any RPG books ever?

The thing is, even people - like myself - who gladly and joyously houserule games because we enoy doing so make use of published rules. The excluded middle here is that it's often useful or desirable to have a starting point to work from. For example, I have written copious quantities of NPC profiles for the various 40kRP games… I almost never use the ones published in the books, preferring to write my own (the exception being those published NPC profiles that I did write myself, like all the Dark Eldar ones in The Soul Reaver, or the bestiary in Ark of Lost Souls). I still buy the books, because it's always useful to have additional takes and ideas to draw from, to provide inspiration and add to the toolkit of mechanical concepts I can use to put my own stuff together.


Writing Credits for Fantasy Flight Games: Into the Storm, Edge of the Abyss, Battlefleet Koronus, Hostile Acquisitions, Black Crusade Core Rulebook, First Founding, The Jericho Reach, The Soul Reaver, Only War, The Navis Primer,Ark of Lost Souls, and Hammer of the Emperor

I no longer write for, or am employed by, Fantasy Flight Games in any fashion. All of my comments are my own, and do not reflect the opinions of any employer, past, present, or future.

#25 Frankie

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Posted 28 May 2013 - 04:55 PM


venkelos said:


I certainly can't claim to be any expert, but having flipped through the book, I do like what I saw.

First, I can't imagine a game of IG without the other guys/girls that make the soldiers succeed. Certainly, the implementation of Ogryns, Psykers, and Tech-Priests could require some extra attention from the GM, but if they just weren't there, the game would blow; I don't roleplay to play the blandest guy I can make. That isn't to say that playing a run-of-the-mill Guardsman couldn't be fun and rewarding (I could enjoy the Cadian Sergeant or HG), but if I am not restricted, I'd be playing the Cadian Psyker, because I like Psykers, and some of the plot/interaction opportunities that could bring (if I played DW, I'd likely be a Librarian, or Techmarine, just the same, and that's a game that suffers, in my opinion, for ONLY letting you play Space Marines; sad when that's a bad thing, huh?).


Yeah. You remind me of some people who deliberately avoid playing humans in fantasy settings, since it just sounds mundane. Personally? I tend to enjoy playing "Normals". Only War appeals to me not for the Ratlings, Ogryns, Psykers, Priests or Tech-Priests, but the fact you can play Imperial Guardsman.

HappyDaze said:
Read the bieginning of the Regiment Creation rules in the Core Rulebook. it explains that they are merely guidelines and can be altered or ignored as the the GM and players - or in this case the authors for the canon regiments - desire. It's intended to be much more loosely applied than many players and GMs may be comfortable with from FFG's products (where rules are usually quite strict).



That feels like a cop-out to me. Part of the appeal is being able to create your favorite canonical or made up IG Regiment, and it's really disappointing to see they couldn't flex the system to make it possible. If you need erratta or a ton of houserules to 'fix' something than it gets a bit silly.

 



#26 HappyDaze

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Posted 28 May 2013 - 05:23 PM

Frankie said:

HappyDaze said:
 

Read the bieginning of the Regiment Creation rules in the Core Rulebook. it explains that they are merely guidelines and can be altered or ignored as the the GM and players - or in this case the authors for the canon regiments - desire. It's intended to be much more loosely applied than many players and GMs may be comfortable with from FFG's products (where rules are usually quite strict).
 


That feels like a cop-out to me. Part of the appeal is being able to create your favorite canonical or made up IG Regiment, and it's really disappointing to see they couldn't flex the system to make it possible. If you need erratta or a ton of houserules to 'fix' something than it gets a bit silly.

 

 

Well, since they built the 'flex' in from the beginning by saying that the rules should be adjusted to fit the needs of GM and group (that's in the book, so it's not a houserule), I'm not sure how this would be seen as a failure. No fixed system is going to give infinite versatilty, so they allowed for wiggle room outside the lines. That's not a cop-out in my eyes; that's being realistic about the limitations of a fixed menu system.


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#27 Blood Pact

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Posted 29 May 2013 - 04:32 AM

Frankie said:

Yeah. You remind me of some people who deliberately avoid playing humans in fantasy settings, since it just sounds mundane. Personally? I tend to enjoy playing "Normals". Only War appeals to me not for the Ratlings, Ogryns, Psykers, Priests or Tech-Priests, but the fact you can play Imperial Guardsman.

 

I call bull, not even gonna try to be polite on that point.

I play humans all the time too (plus the occasional tiefling or super-human), when it comes to fantasy games and such, but I still like the idea of playing all of the above in Only War.

Secondly, Ratlings and Ogryns have ONLY EVER showed up in the Imperial Guard Codex, so why they shouldn't be included in the Imperial Guard wargame is going to require a lot of explaining from you. While the three (I notice you don't include Storm Troopers there, even though they're technically the same) remaining have been showing up in IG codices since 2nd edition (well, maybe not tech-priests), not to mention fiction and so on. So the idea that they're auxiliary personel attached to a regiment (or raised with it in some cases) isn't wildly off fluff, like at all.

 

 

Speaking of the Codices, I'm reminded of the Doctrines rules from the 4th ed Guard Codex (we're still using the 5th ed book, so it's relevant). How a created regiment could only ever have 5… and then they filled four pages with famous regiments from throughout the Imperium, and their Doctrines, 5 out of the 12 have more doctrines than the codex allows.

That's reason 1 why I don't care about the Renowned Regiments in Hammer of the Emperor not conforming perfectly to the regiment design rules. The next being Rule #1 of roleplaying, that you can change whatever the **** you want (the addemdum of course being that noone else is required to like your changes, but I digress) from how it is in the printed material. Which they did.

Frankly, I'd be more annoyed to find that they crippled a regiment that was supposed to be one of the greatest, and has a long and storied history of proving that fact, simply because it goes over the amount of points that are reccomended by the core book.
 

Frankie said:

That feels like a cop-out to me. Part of the appeal is being able to create your favorite canonical or made up IG Regiment, and it's really disappointing to see they couldn't flex the system to make it possible. If you need erratta or a ton of houserules to 'fix' something than it gets a bit silly.

 

Tell me how you give a system enough flex that it can be used to make a Regiment that has 10-20 years of heavy combat experience, like the Tanish, or a more ordinary run-of-the-mill regiment, like the kind you read about being decimated by some alien horror somewhere in the fluff, or even a fresh and green one, full of new draftees, without running in to problems with the system-as-is?

Set different point limits for different levels of experience/fame for a regiment? Because that's hardly a fix to you're complaint, it's just writing down what they've already told you that you can do. Which is not comply to the default number of regiment creation points, if more or less would suit your purposes better.



#28 bogi_khaosa

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Posted 29 May 2013 - 05:13 AM

Well, I don't have HotE so can't comment on that, but I think part of the problem with FFG products is that a) they break the rules without saying so and b) this appears to be done out of carelessness, not out of intent. It is the latter that is offensive. That is, not that the rules are broken per se, but that they are broken purely because of lack of quality control, by accident.



#29 HappyDaze

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Posted 29 May 2013 - 05:47 AM

Blood Pact said:

Ogryns have ONLY EVER showed up in the Imperial Guard Codex,

Minor nitpick - Ogryn were in the 2e Ork Codex, including a powerful Ogryn character type.


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#30 Blood Pact

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Posted 29 May 2013 - 06:43 AM

bogi_khaosa said:

 

Well, I don't have HotE so can't comment on that, but I think part of the problem with FFG products is that a) they break the rules without saying so and b) this appears to be done out of carelessness, not out of intent. It is the latter that is offensive. That is, not that the rules are broken per se, but that they are broken purely because of lack of quality control, by accident.

 

 

And I'm used to sitting back and watching these threads turn in to overblown rants about how awful the book is.

Often these points are based on exagerations or misunderstandings of what's in the book.

But that doesn't stop people from going off on a stupid rant and declaring that they're never going to buy another FFG book ever again (every ******* thread about a new released book).

To the point where the criticism goes past being constructive, and really just comes off as bitching.

Which is why I've avoided these threads since the Mechanicum book came out, since complaints about that book were often quite silly and unfounded (the accusations that the Tech-Assassin was way OP, and stomped all over existing specialties, being the best example).

(and I think I'll go back to avoiding them now, as nothing has changed, based on my obvservations)



#31 bogi_khaosa

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Posted 29 May 2013 - 07:37 AM

Blood Pact said:

 

And I'm used to sitting back and watching these threads turn in to overblown rants about how awful the book is.

Often these points are based on exagerations or misunderstandings of what's in the book.

But that doesn't stop people from going off on a stupid rant and declaring that they're never going to buy another FFG book ever again (every ******* thread about a new released book).

To the point where the criticism goes past being constructive, and really just comes off as bitching.

Which is why I've avoided these threads since the Mechanicum book came out, since complaints about that book were often quite silly and unfounded (the accusations that the Tech-Assassin was way OP, and stomped all over existing specialties, being the best example).

(and I think I'll go back to avoiding them now, as nothing has changed, based on my obvservations)

I get pretty much every FFG 40K book, so it hasn't stopped me. The game in general is great and the fluff writing is magnificent.

But this is an issue in FFG products; it is known to all, like the sky being blue.



#32 Frankie

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Posted 29 May 2013 - 01:56 PM

HappyDaze said:

Frankie said:

 

HappyDaze said:
 

Read the bieginning of the Regiment Creation rules in the Core Rulebook. it explains that they are merely guidelines and can be altered or ignored as the the GM and players - or in this case the authors for the canon regiments - desire. It's intended to be much more loosely applied than many players and GMs may be comfortable with from FFG's products (where rules are usually quite strict).
 


That feels like a cop-out to me. Part of the appeal is being able to create your favorite canonical or made up IG Regiment, and it's really disappointing to see they couldn't flex the system to make it possible. If you need erratta or a ton of houserules to 'fix' something than it gets a bit silly.

 

 

 

 

Well, since they built the 'flex' in from the beginning by saying that the rules should be adjusted to fit the needs of GM and group (that's in the book, so it's not a houserule), I'm not sure how this would be seen as a failure. No fixed system is going to give infinite versatilty, so they allowed for wiggle room outside the lines. That's not a cop-out in my eyes; that's being realistic about the limitations of a fixed menu system.

 

All game systems can be houseruled, so it doesn't really change anything. Plenty of RPGs talk about Rule Zero and how you shouldn't be dogmatic about the rules, but modify them to fit the desires of your group. Part of the point of game design is to make a solid system. It's like saying D&D 3.5E isn't unbalanced just because you can make houserules concerning Wizards, so that makes it okay that Wizards are OP RAW. And, infinite versatility? Who says anything about infinite versatility?

 

If you're making a regiment creation system, then you should really make mold it around the fact you can make the canon regiments, rather than making a generic system, realizing they can't be made RAW and then cheating. Hell, I haven't yet given the book a solid read yet, but just looking at Steel Legion, DKOK & Attilans? FFG wouldn't completely break the system by somehow including those unique traits in it.

 

 

Blood Pact, I don't think I'm exaggerating or saying I'm never going to buy another book again. That doesn't change the fact they clearly didn't have an editor look through the book long enough and some things are unbalanced or referenced in the book but not even there.



#33 Blood Pact

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Posted 29 May 2013 - 05:41 PM

Frankie said:

Blood Pact, I don't think I'm exaggerating or saying I'm never going to buy another book again. That doesn't change the fact they clearly didn't have an editor look through the book long enough and some things are unbalanced or referenced in the book but not even there.

Then I wish a lot more people would complain about that. Instead of pre-generated regiments being over standard point totals, like it's the worst thing in gaming history.



#34 bogi_khaosa

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Posted 30 May 2013 - 01:28 AM

It's not the worst thing in  gaming history. It's just indicative of a larger pattern.

To be honest, I don't think I could play Only War as intended if I did not already have Dark Heresy etc. (hey, there's a marketing  strategy for you… comiendo); I would not see the obvious confusion over the meaning over "degrees of success," for instance, or the obvious Fear system flub. Both of which are the results of copy-pasting from older material and not checking it. What someone who didn't have DH would make of this material I can only imagine.

Anyway, as I said this is known to everyone, so there's no point in chattering about it. So I will cease doing so.

 



#35 Blood Pact

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Posted 30 May 2013 - 02:17 AM

bogi_khaosa said:

It's not the worst thing in  gaming history. It's just indicative of a larger pattern.

No, it's really nothing. But you and others can't let that go.

And that's the worst part.

Because most people who want to play Gaunts Ghosts (or whatever famous regiment) in Only War don't care one bit if it's over the standard (recommended, SUGGESTED!) point totals in the core book for regiment creation. And as I said last post, they would be sorely dissapointed that they did not live up to expectations, especially if it was just because they ran out of points.

The only reason anyone seems to be picking this specific scab is they didn't anounce that they were ignoring that detail.



#36 bluntpencil2001

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Posted 30 May 2013 - 04:34 AM

My main issue with the book is that, like the Inquisitor's Handbook, it's almost all crunch, and has very little of the awesome background that FFG are so good at. Admittedly, the Inquisitor's Handbook managed to squeeze a lot of fluff into the descriptions of its oh-so-many-guns and alternate career ranks. The Hammer of the Emperor tells us very little that we didn't already know. Catachans make good Scouts? Thanks, that was useful.

 The Calixis Sector and Jericho Reach are fantastic, the Spinward Front needs more work.



#37 bogi_khaosa

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Posted 30 May 2013 - 12:38 PM

Blood Pact said:

 

No, it's really nothing. But you and others can't let that go.

And that's the worst part.

Because most people who want to play Gaunts Ghosts (or whatever famous regiment) in Only War don't care one bit if it's over the standard (recommended, SUGGESTED!) point totals in the core book for regiment creation. And as I said last post, they would be sorely dissapointed that they did not live up to expectations, especially if it was just because they ran out of points.

The only reason anyone seems to be picking this specific scab is they didn't anounce that they were ignoring that detail.

 

 

They NEVER announce they are ignoring a detail. That's because they aren't ignoring it; it's because they didn't notice it. That is why, for instance, the NPC damage calculations in the write-ups practically never mathematically add up.

I repeat: this game would simply be unplayable as written for somebody who did not have Dark Heresy or Rogue Trader (actually I think it was after that point that they really started going to Hell on this issue). Because the rules contradict each other, and not rarely, but constantly. This is because they are copy-pasted from different books with different, similar, but actually incompatible, rules systems, and nobody went in to make them coherent. Which would not have been very hard. Just do a search on "degrees of success" and add the word "extra" when needed. It would have taken an hour.



#38 Magpie Stoner

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Posted 30 May 2013 - 02:10 PM

bogi_khaosa said:

Blood Pact said:

 

No, it's really nothing. But you and others can't let that go.

And that's the worst part.

Because most people who want to play Gaunts Ghosts (or whatever famous regiment) in Only War don't care one bit if it's over the standard (recommended, SUGGESTED!) point totals in the core book for regiment creation. And as I said last post, they would be sorely dissapointed that they did not live up to expectations, especially if it was just because they ran out of points.

The only reason anyone seems to be picking this specific scab is they didn't anounce that they were ignoring that detail.

 

 

They NEVER announce they are ignoring a detail. That's because they aren't ignoring it; it's because they didn't notice it. That is why, for instance, the NPC damage calculations in the write-ups practically never mathematically add up.

I repeat: this game would simply be unplayable as written for somebody who did not have Dark Heresy or Rogue Trader (actually I think it was after that point that they really started going to Hell on this issue). Because the rules contradict each other, and not rarely, but constantly. This is because they are copy-pasted from different books with different, similar, but actually incompatible, rules systems, and nobody went in to make them coherent. Which would not have been very hard. Just do a search on "degrees of success" and add the word "extra" when needed. It would have taken an hour.

 

I'm still not picturing what you seem to be complaining about specifically… I understand most peoples arguments against Hammer of the Emperor and can't say I agree with them but I can see the point others are making… I understand you feel it didn't get edited properly and can't argue with that but the claim that it is developed from imcompatable systems is nonsense, practically every section of the books is wraped up by saying "In all situations the GM should use his own judgement"  So basically if you need expressly written rules to follow things that aren't expressly written then it seems to me you shouldn't be GM'ing in the first place. 

 

I mean I'm very sorry this book wasn't exactly what you wanted but at only $20 bucks for the PDF download it's one of the best supplements I've been willing to purchase. I kind of tend to agree with Blood Pact on most of this, and personally feel the ambiguity in the system is an advantage to be utilized by both players and the GM not a detriment… For example the Ambiguity allows for both rapid and easy NPC construction, "Oh my character just punched a random civilian in the face, well human stats are thirty across the board but let's say this guy works in a manufactorum so I''l just take five out of both perception and intelligence and add five to both strength and toughness" It's literally that easy… Like I said before if you can't think your way around the neglible examples of a "generally poor system" you've given then maybe you shouldn't play this game or buy FFG products but don't try to trash the company because you are inflexible and unimaginative.



#39 sunhawk88

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Posted 31 May 2013 - 06:38 AM

I love HotE but my only real complaints of the book is it's size and I would have liked to see more regiments in, examples of Agri, Feral, Forge and Mining also some more local regiments say from Malfi or Fenksworld. 



#40 signoftheserpent

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Posted 31 May 2013 - 07:06 AM

If you like HoE and are happy to ignore glaring faults then why would you be bothered if they had taken time to edit it properly?






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