The real butts of this competition are the Storm Trooper and the Desperado, who really get nothing compared to other classes. ST's special abilities are wasted on slightly upgrading his standard issue equipment, which at this point is pretty useless by design. Desperado could have been alright if Fellowship and related skills had any meaning in Ascension, but sadly Influence does all Fellowship used to do, and more, which leaves Desperado as the guy who brings two autopistols and sarcastic wit to the battlefield dominated by physical gods and advanced murderbots on one side, and guys whose word is Emperor's law on the other.
Even they have their uses.
I'd agree the Desperado is a weaker character but he still has his uses. Fellowship is still useful in specific cases; whilst the Subtlety mechanic from DH2 isn't in the game, it pretty much describes how we play. Using influence implies exposure of the team to some extent, and - whilst using influence subtly is fine, there are times you can't really do that (such as trying to bluff your way past a guard). A Desperado's fellowship check is going to have a better chance of not going wrong than a -40 influence check - since you can't pull out an auto-pass when acting subtly; the Power Of The Rosette rule is not one compatible with being discrete.
The moment the cell is prepared to say "No-one Expects The
Spanish Imperial Inquisition!" and start acting 'in character', fellowship goes out the window except for Command checks, but prior to that point it can be quite useful. Master of Coin can be pretty useful, too, especially early on, where an effective +5 influence can make quite a difference. He also starts with a better Inquiry skill than a Hierophant and a better Fellowship than an Inquisitor/Interrogator; his only real peer in investigative shennanigans is the Judge. Equally, whilst a Magos may have him beaten for security work (although with Master of Locks and Tricks in his back pocket it's a close call), he can sneak up to the locked door, whilst the half-tonne cog-boy can't.
He's also better in a fight than Inquisitors or Interrogators - coming with Independent Targeting, Quick Draw, Ambidextrous and Gunfighter as standard in the Heed The Higher Call character set, along with an agility second only to the assassins.
This means that, combined with a pair of Mighty Shot boosted Bolt Pistols, he can, from a 'standing start', pump four bolt rounds down range and kill two 'human' targets dead without breaking a sweat before a judge or inquisitor's guns even clear their holsters. All right, other 'combat gods' will beat him in damage output but much of that is dependent on wargear you can't saunter into a bar carrying - best quality flak is virtually unnoticeable and you could get away with wearing it almost anywhere, whilst enforcer carapace is a little...err...obvious?
The Stormtrooper's main problem is the Palatine; who trades up an (effectively) best quality hellgun and best quality suit of carapace which doesn't encumber him for an (actually) best quality bolter and best quality suit of powered plate which weighs nothing and actually boosts her strength and ballistic skill, plus has the ability to turn into a holy nuke when needed. Which is, admittedly an issue.
He makes for the best driver/pilot by some margin, though, if you take Drop Trooper (and people tend to respect your character a lot more if they're sat in a gun-cutter), and the best guy to lead requisitioned troopers if you take Field Command - that spot initiative boost/reroll misses makes a squad of inducted stormtroopers scary as.
Edited by Magnus Grendel, 26 September 2013 - 04:08 AM.