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Chaos Marines as antagonists


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#21 Braddoc

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Posted 10 February 2014 - 09:36 PM

It was a bolt shot, or it was a hit from the Lathes folding knife (the ones doing a base of 1d10 damage)..I think it was a Lathes knife since you pretty much all were in melee all combat long.



#22 InquisitorAlexel

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Posted 13 February 2014 - 06:45 PM

Space Marines scouts have generally something like 25-30 year's old when they become Space Marines. For a soldier, which has been to war, the majority of its life, its already enough to be very trained and dangerous. Now, you take the fact that space marines live up to 500 years (in the actual version of the universe, because in version 1 and 2 of the TT they living up to a thousand years). 

 

Now, take into account that they just train everyday or fight everyday of their life (when a human does that, it makes a killing machine, remember?), that they are specifically engineered in their brain, reflexes, muscles and any cell of their flesh to be a perfect machine of death and that they train this always to be at their top. No, sorry, even high-grade acolytes shouldn't be able to outfight them face to face. They need super guns (like plasma blasters, meltagun, etc.) or power weaponry and a lot of training, otherwise it's just normal that the Space Marines will take their experience and training and plunge it into the gut of the acolytes.

Now, in the books, in all fluff stock, space marine can be barechest and get shot lots of time without even flinching. On the game mechanics, it means :

1. A terrible toughness bonus (I.E. 8) with a lot of wounds (18-25)

2. A gigantic amount of wounds (I.E 30-40)

 

They took option one. You add with that power armour, and you've got a guy that can't die with small arms automatic fire, you add their training, they'll barely get shot at and when this will happen, they won't care.

 

For those of you that have seen a complete modern military flack jacket will all the ceramic plating, it can soak a lot of damage without the solider being heavily wounded. I wonder what having that in your bones and muscles and being covered by an armour made as tough as a tank, can do to a man. 

 

If you look the stats of an Inquisitor on the TT (and PS: the TT is not at all reprensting the universe correctly, it's been made to be playable, which a universe like 40k couldn't be while respecting the enormous gap between quite anything), it has only chances of killing a marines if it is well equipped. Otherwise, the marine will kill it. When you look at what level of XP an inquisitor is in the rpg, you know that marines are not supposed to be easy to kill to acolytes.

Sorry if I haven't been easy to understand, english isn't my native language. 

 

 

 

PS: That's the time of being shot at but...if a GM can't handle players with high toughness bonuses and armours and all those things, it's because he doesn't know how to master a game. I use the rules of dark heresy avec except a few modifications to the CRITICAL damages, the fights are very realistic and even high toughness and armour doesn't protect players from death and I generally throw at them small arms fire rather than big gun.


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#23 Cogniczar

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Posted 13 February 2014 - 07:47 PM

Now, take into account that they just train everyday or fight everyday of their life (when a human does that, it makes a killing machine, remember?), that they are specifically engineered in their brain, reflexes, muscles and any cell of their flesh to be a perfect machine of death and that they train this always to be at their top. No, sorry, even high-grade acolytes shouldn't be able to outfight them face to face. They need super guns (like plasma blasters, meltagun, etc.) or power weaponry and a lot of training, otherwise it's just normal that the Space Marines will take their experience and training and plunge it into the gut of the acolytes.

 

I think you might be confusing the point of discussion a bit here Alexel. The lethality of a Marine isn't in dispute - he should be a frightfully hard to kill opponent. But certainly not so far beyond the scope of an Acolyte cell. One of the greatest fallacies in speaking for the awesome power of a space marine is the centuries of experience = unstoppable belief. After so many years, any soldier will reach a penultimate cap at what he is physically able to perform and his experience will only serve him so well to plan and coordinate his actions. 

 

Human recklessness, impulses, and acts of desperation have often toppled over superior training and elite soldiers both in reality and in other mediums of fiction. They don't need super guns (which would help greatly), nor power weapons/armor (which also helps greatly), when a suicidal acolyte with a melta bomb can do the trick just as well. A Space Marine's armor is as hard as tank armor - and thanks to the laws of warfare, there are such things as Anti-Tank weaponry! Not to mention countless scores of circumstantial and environmental factors that could come into play.

 

The point of using a Chaos Space Marine as an antagonists presents a hard to kill, insidiously intelligent and experienced nemesis. The idea posited in this thread isn't about using a space marine as a combat encounter - but a plot encounter, and certainly, absolutely, it's possible for an Acolyte cell to fight against him, and perhaps prevail with indomitable teamwork and quick thinking. 

 

 

Space Marines scouts have generally something like 25-30 year's old when they become Space Marines. For a soldier, which has been to war, the majority of its life, its already enough to be very trained and dangerous. Now, you take the fact that space marines live up to 500 years (in the actual version of the universe, because in version 1 and 2 of the TT they living up to a thousand years). 

 

Nitpick here is: Most Marines don't reach the higher echelons of their purported life cycle. Their potential to live up to 500-1000 years is examplified with members of their order, but not by any averages. Most are killed, wounded, or interred into dreadnoughts long before they reach those higher ages. In reality, the arguement of 'centuries of experience' boils down to special named characters from the novels and codex', and the average actual marine would usually fall somewhere between 50-150 years of service. 


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#24 Askil

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Posted 14 February 2014 - 02:27 AM

I do mean to nitpick on this one, in the 2nd ed Utramarines codex it explicitly stated that at 400 years old Chaplian Cassius was the oldest living Ultramarine.

 

He was worn with age, wrinkled and had little to no hair, what was left was lank, long and bone white.

 

Seeing as how the vast majority of Astartes are from the same genetic line as Cassius (Guilliman's) that would indicate that lives exceeding 350 years are highly uncommon among the vast majority of space marine chapters.


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#25 ColArana

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Posted 14 February 2014 - 04:43 AM

I do mean to nitpick on this one, in the 2nd ed Utramarines codex it explicitly stated that at 400 years old Chaplian Cassius was the oldest living Ultramarine.

 

He was worn with age, wrinkled and had little to no hair, what was left was lank, long and bone white.

 

Seeing as how the vast majority of Astartes are from the same genetic line as Cassius (Guilliman's) that would indicate that lives exceeding 350 years are highly uncommon among the vast majority of space marine chapters.

 

And then you have Space Marines like Dante....



#26 Cogniczar

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Posted 14 February 2014 - 07:44 AM

Dante is from the chapter that is explicilitly mentioned to be longer lived. =D



#27 Lynata

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Posted 14 February 2014 - 09:06 AM

If you look the stats of an Inquisitor on the TT (and PS: the TT is not at all reprensting the universe correctly, it's been made to be playable, which a universe like 40k couldn't be while respecting the enormous gap between quite anything), it has only chances of killing a marines if it is well equipped. Otherwise, the marine will kill it. When you look at what level of XP an inquisitor is in the rpg, you know that marines are not supposed to be easy to kill to acolytes.

 

This I cannot fully agree on. The universe has been built around the TT, not the other way around. As such, it is my belief that the tabletop, in spite of all the abstraction it employs, is actually a better representation than the legends and stories that make up the majority of fluff, simply because the tabletop is one of the very few places that treats every single unit of the game equally, comparing them to one another without narrative tools such as plot armour, boisterous propaganda or the presentation of potentially exceptional incidents.

 

To reiterate, I see the weapons of the 41st millennium as a massive balancing factor on the battlefields, as even a simple Guard conscript has a chance to kill a Space Marine if he happens to wield a plasma gun, or even just if he happens to get a good shot with his lasgun on an already wounded Astartes. I just don't see this represented well in this particular RPG (GW's own Inquisitor game does a much better job at this, imho), and I find this a bit sad as it reduces the "compatibility" of the individual parts that make up the overall setting, as if the Space Marines would fight on an entirely different plane of existence - legendary demigods of war that can capture entire planets and throw back full armies single-handedly.

 

If someone prefers that interpretation of the Astartes, cool, it's their game. And I would even understand if someone were "offended" by my suggestion that Space Marines might not be as awesome as they like them to be - after all, each of us has their own vision of Wh40k, depending on what books they "grew up" with. I'd still say they are missing out, though, and too easily dismiss the negative effects it has on the common ground of a roleplaying game.

 

Now, in the books, in all fluff stock, space marine can be barechest and get shot lots of time without even flinching. On the game mechanics, it means :

1. A terrible toughness bonus (I.E. 8) with a lot of wounds (18-25)

2. A gigantic amount of wounds (I.E 30-40)

 

They took option one. You add with that power armour, and you've got a guy that can't die with small arms automatic fire, you add their training, they'll barely get shot at and when this will happen, they won't care.

 

That is the main problem - though obviously I'm just speaking from my perspective here - of Dark Heresy (and the other FFG 40k RPGs): Toughness negating attacks entirely. This is an issue explicitly not limited only to Space Marines but affects normal human characters as well, and we've seen a lot of threads by GMs asking how they could address this. SM (and CSM) just make it even more obvious because of the huge amount of TB they get thanks to the Unnatural trait, in combination with the armour they wear.

 

A higher amount of Wounds would have been an infinitely better solution, representing the character's ability to soldier on through a high number of grievous injuries. Instead we get Superman where bullets apparently just ricochet off one's tough-as-nails skin.

 

Or, alternatively, just stick to what GW did with their own Inquisitor game: Anything that goes through your armour causes an injury - your Toughness only dictates how bad it'll be. In case of the humble lasgun, for example, this means that a Space Marine would be able to suffer several hits more than the average human, but eventually he's still gonna go down.

 

Human recklessness, impulses, and acts of desperation have often toppled over superior training and elite soldiers both in reality and in other mediums of fiction.

 

And some Space Marines are easily more reckless than experienced human troops. Perhaps specifically because they "know no fear" and are ardent believers in their physiological superiority? Not to mention various Chapter flaws severely impacting their ability to fight intelligently - but as this depends highly on the individual Chapter this detail admittedly may not make for a good argument.

 

The Ultramarines are still the standard for Astartes, and I would say that on average, they are the pinnacle of smart, tactical fighting, rivalled only perhaps by the most elite human soldiers such as the Storm Trooper regiment - and even that only because the Storm Troopers focus on a singular role, whereas the Space Marines train to be "Jacks of all Trades", having been Rhino drivers, Landspeeder pilots, support gunners, scouts, and much more over the decades of their service. One might say that their chief advantage is not that they are "the best at X" but that they are so good at just about everything (somewhat mitigating the limitations mentioned by Cogniczar).

 

In this thread, however, people are discussing Chaos Space Marines, and it would not be too far-fetched to consider that their corruption and service to the Chaos Gods has warped the way they feel and fight.

 

Seeing as how the vast majority of Astartes are from the same genetic line as Cassius (Guilliman's) that would indicate that lives exceeding 350 years are highly uncommon among the vast majority of space marine chapters.

 

Indeed. I've no idea where the excessive age numbers come from, but I'm guessing some Black Library novel. The 6E rulebook specifically notes the biological lifespan of the average Space Marine being "two to three times that of a normal man".

 

At the end of the day, the absence of a solid canon means that Space Marines can get as old as you want them to get (which explains the contradictory information on this topic) - I'm just here to remind people that there is a different version of the Adeptus Astartes to the one that currently seems to dominate the fandom due to the popularity of certain novels or video games, and that this version is just as valid as the one they are adhering to. And that this version might, in fact, be better suited for a roleplaying game that aims to put them next to "normal" humans.

 

And then you have Space Marines like Dante....

 

Though the Blood Angels are not the average for a Space Marine, and even amongst them Dante is special.


current 40k RPG character: Aura Vashaan, Astromancer Witch-Priestess
previous characters: Captain Elias (Celestial Lions Chapter), Comrade-Trooper Dasha Malenko (1207th Valhallan Ice Warriors), Sister Elana (Order of the Sacred Rose), Leftenant Darion Baylesworth (Rogue Trader Artemisia)

#28 Askil

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Posted 14 February 2014 - 01:36 PM

Dante is a special snowflake, Cassius is a cookie cutter marine who happens to have failed to die.

 

Also the 2-3 times the human span thing is hugely subjective in a setting where humans can live for between 25-100 years naturally without recourse to rejuvenant treatments that can extend lifetimes by centuries.


Edited by Askil, 14 February 2014 - 01:40 PM.

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#29 Cymbel

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Posted 14 February 2014 - 07:35 PM

If you want better balance where any gun can hurt anyone with massed fire. Use the BC rules. Everyone crits on a 10, if the attack deals damage, they suffer a random minor crit. If the attack did no damage after the "soak" they deal 1 wound. A marine WILL always go down to massed las fire, because they will eventually keep hitting weak spots in the armor.



#30 Lynata

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Posted 14 February 2014 - 08:13 PM

Relying on the player characters rolling a 10 about twenty times sounds rather boring, if not ridiculously dangerous, given the perks that RAW Marines get around here (after all, the CSM is unlikely to stand still). Additionally, whilst I consider the BC version of Righteous Fury superior to DH's, I'm not sure OP is looking to bring in an entirely new mechanic just to deal with a single NPC - else I would have suggested looking into an alternative to how the game deals with Toughness. ;)

 

I feel the obvious solution would be to scale/design the NPC in a manner that makes them a challenging encounter, yet one the players can survive. Isn't this how all encounters should be planned?


Edited by Lynata, 14 February 2014 - 08:14 PM.

current 40k RPG character: Aura Vashaan, Astromancer Witch-Priestess
previous characters: Captain Elias (Celestial Lions Chapter), Comrade-Trooper Dasha Malenko (1207th Valhallan Ice Warriors), Sister Elana (Order of the Sacred Rose), Leftenant Darion Baylesworth (Rogue Trader Artemisia)

#31 Cymbel

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Posted 15 February 2014 - 03:08 PM

Yeah Lynata, you hit it on the mark. My point was more that a full Space Marine or Chaos version IS able to be taken down by even grunts IF you use the updated crit rules. Which allow continual fire to take out even a walking tank like them eventually.

 

For PCs this isn't much of a solution as they are very unlikely to have that overwhelming mass of fire power (one lasgun is nothing, 100 is a different matter)



#32 Lynata

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Posted 15 February 2014 - 03:22 PM

Ah, apologies for the misunderstanding then. :)


current 40k RPG character: Aura Vashaan, Astromancer Witch-Priestess
previous characters: Captain Elias (Celestial Lions Chapter), Comrade-Trooper Dasha Malenko (1207th Valhallan Ice Warriors), Sister Elana (Order of the Sacred Rose), Leftenant Darion Baylesworth (Rogue Trader Artemisia)

#33 InquisitorAlexel

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Posted 16 February 2014 - 10:33 AM

Now, take into account that they just train everyday or fight everyday of their life (when a human does that, it makes a killing machine, remember?), that they are specifically engineered in their brain, reflexes, muscles and any cell of their flesh to be a perfect machine of death and that they train this always to be at their top. No, sorry, even high-grade acolytes shouldn't be able to outfight them face to face. They need super guns (like plasma blasters, meltagun, etc.) or power weaponry and a lot of training, otherwise it's just normal that the Space Marines will take their experience and training and plunge it into the gut of the acolytes.

 
I think you might be confusing the point of discussion a bit here Alexel. The lethality of a Marine isn't in dispute - he should be a frightfully hard to kill opponent. But certainly not so far beyond the scope of an Acolyte cell. One of the greatest fallacies in speaking for the awesome power of a space marine is the centuries of experience = unstoppable belief. After so many years, any soldier will reach a penultimate cap at what he is physically able to perform and his experience will only serve him so well to plan and coordinate his actions. 
 
Human recklessness, impulses, and acts of desperation have often toppled over superior training and elite soldiers both in reality and in other mediums of fiction. They don't need super guns (which would help greatly), nor power weapons/armor (which also helps greatly), when a suicidal acolyte with a melta bomb can do the trick just as well. A Space Marine's armor is as hard as tank armor - and thanks to the laws of warfare, there are such things as Anti-Tank weaponry! Not to mention countless scores of circumstantial and environmental factors that could come into play.
 
The point of using a Chaos Space Marine as an antagonists presents a hard to kill, insidiously intelligent and experienced nemesis. The idea posited in this thread isn't about using a space marine as a combat encounter - but a plot encounter, and certainly, absolutely, it's possible for an Acolyte cell to fight against him, and perhaps prevail with indomitable teamwork and quick thinking. 

 
No, I didn't miss the point of the conversation. I andswered to arguments Lynata said. Also, remeber that even with what I said, and even with the actual stats of a Space Marine, if you get a grunt running with a meltabomb to them, they will die. So I don't see any problem with that.
 
Finally, Lynata; if you think that the tabletop represents well the universe, then man, soliders of that time are being very untrained, their weapons are very uncapable of wounding people and so on. Because soliders having one chance out of 6 of killing an adversairies in something like a 10-15 seconds of continued fire (guardsman vs guardsman) is highly pathetic. 

And if you think the table top represents best the universe, then you didn't read about the V1 and V2, you didn't read the own comments of GW that said that the tabletob game doesn't represent correctly the power levels of things such as greater daemons, space marines and other things of that kind because the D6 system, combined with a scale out of 10 for the stats can't permit that.
But, if even the creators of the universe, the books that shows how the universe is, are wrong, I can argue further, I think this is just a question of perception. I based mine on taking into accounts all the official sources and you surely does as well. After that, deciding that what is said in everybook and codexes is true or not, is you call and the most important thing is, as a GM, that your players are having fun.
 
 
 
 
EDIT:
 
 
I also quote Lynata on this:


That is the main problem - though obviously I'm just speaking from my perspective here - of Dark Heresy (and the other FFG 40k RPGs): Toughness negating attacks entirely. This is an issue explicitly [/font][/color][/background]not limited only to Space Marines but affects normal human characters as well, and we've seen a lot of threads by GMs asking how they could address this. SM (and CSM) just make it even more obvious because of the huge amount of TB they get thanks to the Unnatural trait, in combination with the armour they wear.
 
A higher amount of Wounds would have been an infinitely better solution, representing the character's ability to soldier on through a high number of grievous injuries. Instead we get Superman where bullets apparently just ricochet off one's tough-as-nails skin.
 
Or, alternatively, just stick to what GW did with their own Inquisitor game: Anything that goes through your armour causes an injury - your Toughness only dictates how bad it'll be. In case of the humble lasgun, for example, this means that a Space Marine would be able to suffer several hits more than the average human, but eventually he's still gonna go down.


That's a choice you make when you GM (or the choice your GM does). First of all; I never happened to have this problem in game; when characters are touched, there are thousands of ways to tell all this happened and why they didn't loose wounds. When a character has now armour and get touched and do not suffer damage (example: las round against a T50 arbitrator), I describe it as he had been grazed by the lasbolt. It just does a normal burn. A normal human would have been higly shaken from that shot (losing a few wounds that represents the pain, his system not overcoming the wound, etc.) when a T50 badass would be "Beh, just a fleshwound". The wound is the same for both, one shake it of, the other, not.

I never got a normal human soaking up or seeing a bullet ricocheting off his flesh. That's just plain lack of narrative talent. Actually, the system highly, in human vs human combat, represents the reality of an armed combat. After that, it's just a question of how good you are at explaining everything. It's the same in DnD (no, I'm not saying this one is realistic); when you're character has become 123 wounds and he receives a 45 wounds hit by a monster, you have to choice: OH MAN, YOU'RE SO TANK, YO SOAKED UP A CATAPULT SHOT! or you say "You kneld when the rock passed over your head because your experience gave you the reaction time needed for it, though it grazed your helmet and shook you a lot. You feel the pain in your neck and on your temples but, in the end, it just didn't touch you properly"

Where an another man (7-9 wounds for a normal man in the DnD universe), would have been simply crushed.


You are the GM (when you do), and you decide how the rules make the game realistic. On my parts, I never have been in any kind of problems with the toughness and armor rules, players happened to soak damage, but never bullets. They still die too often enough for their good, they still are heroes when needed, and they still die one shot.

The only times when I had that kind of problem, is when I was unexperieced as GM. It's always of question of the game is being described and being led.

Edited by InquisitorAlexel, 16 February 2014 - 10:47 AM.

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#34 Lynata

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Posted 16 February 2014 - 11:20 AM

Finally, Lynata; if you think that the tabletop represents well the universe, then man, soliders of that time are being very untrained, their weapons are very uncapable of wounding people and so on. Because soliders having one chance out of 6 of killing an adversairies in something like a 10-15 seconds of continued fire (guardsman vs guardsman) is highly pathetic. 

And if you think the table top represents best the universe, then you didn't read about the V1 and V2, you didn't read the own comments of GW that said that the tabletob game doesn't represent correctly the power levels of things such as greater daemons, space marines and other things of that kind because the D6 system, combined with a scale out of 10 for the stats can't permit that.

 

Personally, I would attribute the "low" kill chance both to abstraction as well as, ironically, realism. Battlefields are not flat, empty fields just because you do not have a model of a ruin or a patch of trees represent a cover bonus (this actually ties into your own scale argument), and just because a bunch of miniatures is standing perfectly still does not mean the soldiers would actually do this in the narrative version of the combat.

 

I am also not entirely sure where you're taking the expectation for deadly accuracy from. Looking at reports from Iraq and Afghanistan, US forces required about 250,000 bullets for every single killed insurgent. Now, obviously much of this would be accounted for by covering and suppression fire, but who's to say that your unit of Guardsmen in the tabletop does not employ similar tactics?

 

A lasgun scoring a hit on another flak-armoured Guardsman has a 50% chance (4+) to drop him on the spot. If you think this is bad, then I would again advise to keep abstraction in mind: The other 50% do not mean that the soldier is let off the hook without any injuries altogether - it just means that the hit was not enough to neutralise him. In GW's fluff, flak armour actually contains material capable of absorbing thermal energy...

 

And yes, I have actually never read such comments from GW regarding the power levels, but I have often seen it claimed. Would you have a source for this? I'd certainly like to read it, rather than just hearing it asserted again and again.

In return, I will offer you a source for GW commenting on how Space Marines are exaggerated in the franchise's fiction, which seems to form the basis of most people argueing for Supermarines.

 

On a sidenote, GW has published their very own d100 system, and Space Marines there are much closer to the tabletop than they are to FFG's Movie Marine version. This is simply a result of how Dark Heresy etc deal with Toughness, for where in these games TB allows your body to negate injuries entirely, in GW's Inquisitor it merely "softens" an injury you are still going to receive.

This small detail makes for a massive difference - and, as mentioned above, it affects normal humans as well. Apparently, being buff is a totally valid way to make up for the differences between flak and carapace armour! ;)

 

But, if even the creators of the universe, the books that shows how the universe is, are wrong, I can argue further, I think this is just a question of perception. I based mine on taking into accounts all the official sources and you surely does as well. After that, deciding that what is said in everybook and codexes is true or not, is you call and the most important thing is, as a GM, that your players are having fun.

 

There is no "wrong" or "true" here, as the creators of the universe have clarified themselves, only - as you correctly added following your subtle accusation regarding my attitude - interpretation and personal preferences. My own choice of largely limiting my perception to the studio material prevents my vision of 40k from suffering massive consistency issues, but of course it is also a matter of taste, and I just regard it as more interesting and gritty (some might say "grimdark" :D) when the setting does not revolve solely around the legendary battle prowess of the Astartes.

 

Either way, we at least seem to be in agreement regarding the last sentence. :)

 

PS: What do you mean regarding V1 and V2? 1st and 2nd Edition? If so, I do not know how you might get the idea that I've not read them.


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#35 InquisitorAlexel

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Posted 16 February 2014 - 03:59 PM

Don't take me wrong; english isn't my native tongue; I'm not at ease with all its subleties, if you think I accused you of something, it is certainly my bad, but not because I intended it ;)

But I assure you, somewhere in all this argument, I agree that the toughness bonus system of Dark Heresy is over the top. But as I said in my previous message, Space Marines are NOT that tough. It all depends, first, on how your GM describe the fight, and on how you see the wounds.

In the same way you said for the 4+ of a guardsman wounding a guardsman, I see wounds in the RPG as the wounds that count, those that, in the end, will get you down if you get too much. A bullet that graze the flesh a of little boy is not the same pain than a bullet that graze the flesh of a guardsman that has seen some pain in his life. In the same way, a bullet that graze a guardsman (one or two wound, painful, a little bloodloss, etc.) isn't going to be really influential to a born survivor that has made many campaings, that has been wounded a lot; this would represents the same wound (lasround) but on the child, it would put him down or being critical to his puny flesh, to a mature man, it would burn hard and be painful and a little debilitating, but not much, and to a badass like a toughness 50 arbitrator, it wouldn't even make him lose a wound (but he would still be burnt).

The same for space marines; badass with T40. The unnatural *2 examplify that he is not only able to sustain minor damages easily, but also, that for him, a headshot with a simple revolver IS minor damage. But in the end, they are not that tough.

It's just a question of how you describe it. All my heroes, not having lost wounds but having been hit a lot needs medical attention, etc. Not because DURING the fight they weren't "wounded" that they are in good shape.

My players are only acolytes, I do not like Deathwatch (and deathwatch is too much, I prefer black crusade space marines), and they rarely see space marines in adventures. But when they do, they can fight them, but they must be ready, otherwise they'll get killed.

For the source as you asked; many white dwarves (too bad I dumped them all a few weeks ago), many codexes in themselves; there are places where space marines are described as legends (worth the strenght of 1000 men) but other places that they are said, with a normal tone, that they are worth a hundred trained soldiers, that they describe what they can do, etc.

Same as the books, but anyway, like you said, there are creators of the universe that said things, others that contradict them. My exprience in sword fighting let me see how great can be the difference between recruit, trained soldiers and master at arms. The same is for shooting, the same is for stealth and many things, so yes, I think that Space Marines should be awesome and the tabletob is not reprensetative, when you look at how poor are stormtroopers and how not so superiors are space marines!

But the discussion is very nice, thank you for your arguments.
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#36 Lynata

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Posted 16 February 2014 - 05:13 PM

Ahh ... yes, I think the discussion about the meaning of Wounds comes up from time to time. I often see what I perceive as shortcomings in the injury system of Dark Heresy (and the other FFG games) being brushed off by asserting that even hits that do not cause Wounds would still constitute injuries, such as the burn you mentioned. But in my opinion, this line of reasoning results in the weapons of WH40k being seen as a not less dangerous than the background (and perhaps common sense) would describe them. Lasguns leaving nothing but a tan? Maybe if your armour successfully caught the entire blast, but not if even just a single point of damage came through. I apply a similar expectation to boltgun projectiles, which are, for all intents and purposes, still armour-piercing miniature missiles with an explosive payload that detonate in the inside of their target.

 

My own understanding of the tabletop is that miniatures being hit but not killed represents one of the following

  • the attack did not go through the target's armour
  • the target suffered an injury (= loss of Wounds), but not enough as to neutralise them
  • all of the above

Likewise, miniatures being neutralised may represent a kill or just the character being unconscious or having received an injury so heavy that it prevents them from continuing to fight (loss of limbs etc).

 

The problem with DH is that it has so many ways to deflect damage. First you've got Armour, then you've got Toughness Bonus, then you've got Wounds, and only then may a character actually suffer an injury!

By contrast, GW's Inquisitor game goes straight from Armour to injuries, and I feel this is a much more realistic approach to combat, especially involving the weapons mentioned above.

 

To go back to your example with the Space Marine suffering a head wound, this is how it works out in Inquisitor:

 

A revolver has a damage code of 2d6+2, which makes for an average damage of ~9. A Space Marine has a Base Toughness of 15 (150 divided by 10), whereas a Guardsman has a Base Toughness of 6 (60 divided by 10).

This means that attacks made against the Space Marine basically calculate their injury levels by dividing damage after armour by 15, whereas for the Guardsman it is divided by 6. Meaning, the average 9 points of damage from a revolver shot made against an unarmoured head result in 1 level of injury for the Space Marine, and 2 levels of injury for the Guardsman.

This low on the Crit chart, both characters are merely stunned for 1d3 rounds. However, if the Guardsman takes another shot like that, he's gone. The Space Marine, on the other hand, might take another three shots to the head before he drops dead (technically, another two would threaten him, but his Toughness is so high that he's almost certain to succeed on the system shock test).

 

To me, this sounds appropriate. Space Marines are not invulnerable, they're just capable of withstanding a lot more punishment than ordinary humans! This is both more dramatic and heroic (true heroism requires risk) as well as better suited for a game where you might deploy them either as allies or enemies to them.

 

By contrast, a revolver shot (1d10+3, let's say this makes for an average of 9 pts too) to the unarmoured head in Dark Heresy or Black Crusade or Deathwatch would merely result in 25% Wound loss (for normal humans) or no consequence at all (for a Space Marine). Unrealistic. Unfluffy. Anticlimatic. Boring. :P

 

 

For the source as you asked; many white dwarves (too bad I dumped them all a few weeks ago), many codexes in themselves; there are places where space marines are described as legends (worth the strenght of 1000 men) but other places that they are said, with a normal tone, that they are worth a hundred trained soldiers, that they describe what they can do, etc.

 

Ah, but that is not GW admitting to "toning down" Space Marines for tabletop balancing. That is covered under what I have already mentioned above: propaganda, legends and exceptional incidents, as they exist for every army, and which must be regarded not in isolation but together with other material (different propaganda, legends and exceptional incidents, if you will) from GW that "normalises" Space Marines to a lower level again. Material such as a CSM Lord being strangled to death by a human Catachan Guard officer in Codex: Planetstrike, or an entire Red Corsairs warband getting roflpwnd by Battle Sisters during a raid on Ophelia VII. These are not so much contradictions - it just matters that we keep looking at both sides of this coin rather than focusing on what makes the Space Marines look awesome. Contradictions only occur if we delve into the outsourced material that at times (not always!) aims to present a more extreme take on the range of interpretations as fact and normality.

 

Coincidentally, I do recall the comparison quote you referenced - it was by Rogal Dorn in the 3rd Edition Codex, and he equated 100 Space Marines to 1.000 normal troops. That is a ratio of 1 to 10.

 

But yes, thank you too for the debate. I know I may be pretty much alone in defending this "more gritty" version of the Space Marines as opposed to the "demigods of war" that people may read about in a novel or see in a videogame, but .. who knows, I keep hoping that someone takes away something from discussions such as these. Even if it's just the mutual agreement that both visions are valid, and interesting in their own right. I do remain adamant that only one is useful for a roleplaying game, though, at least if that RPG aims to involve normal humans as well. ;)


current 40k RPG character: Aura Vashaan, Astromancer Witch-Priestess
previous characters: Captain Elias (Celestial Lions Chapter), Comrade-Trooper Dasha Malenko (1207th Valhallan Ice Warriors), Sister Elana (Order of the Sacred Rose), Leftenant Darion Baylesworth (Rogue Trader Artemisia)

#37 InquisitorAlexel

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Posted 17 February 2014 - 07:13 AM

I agree with your arguments, I can't say that they are not valid (what I like about arguing with someone is not making him think like I do nor being convinced, but being able to understand his point and being able to even defend it if I think it's legitimate).

I like your point and I think, somewhere, we agree, but we simply don't see the actual ruling system de same way, which does the contradictions here!

Now I'll stand back to let, if possible, the conversation comes back on the main topic: if or not a CSM can do a good adversary for a game!
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#38 khimaera

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Posted 20 February 2014 - 04:39 PM


But yes, thank you too for the debate. I know I may be pretty much alone in defending this "more gritty" version of the Space Marines as opposed to the "demigods of war" that people may read about in a novel or see in a videogame, but .. who knows, I keep hoping that someone takes away something from discussions such as these. Even if it's just the mutual agreement that both visions are valid, and interesting in their own right. I do remain adamant that only one is useful for a roleplaying game, though, at least if that RPG aims to involve normal humans as well. ;)

I don't even think your idea of an ideal wound system eliminates the idea of the Astartes as "Demigods of War." Considering the carnage that a Space Marine would dish out in such a system, your ideas may very well be more appropriate for portraying proper Astartes heroics. 

I'm cool with the wound system as it is but your ideas certainly are compelling.


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#39 AlphariusOmegon7

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Posted 18 March 2014 - 08:18 AM

Since we've moved on to combat descriptions now, I'd like to point out that missing a target in cqc when they don't dodge is exceptionally unlikely.  I do both fencing and kendo, so I've always found it slightly strange that, at a certain point no matter how well trained someone is, according to crunch they just plain missed the dude standing right in front of them.  I think the key to explaining why a headshot with a pistol doesn't do much damage is that it's in combat - even without the dodge your target is constantly moving, shifting, ducking their head, taking little steps back and forth, shifting their weapon too and fro, turning to yell unholy litanies or give shouts of exhortation to their comrades.  In this sense the term 'Wounds' is misleading for human-level opponents and characters - it's more that it's accumulated luck/combat capability and I try to depict it as such when I GM.  On the other hand, I can understand the urge to make things more deadly, and did for a time try a 'straight-to-crit' campaign - but there it just became a battle to get initiative first, as whoever did could insta-kite at least one member of the other side with any decent weapon.  

 

All in all, if you want realistic damage, I don't think this is a good RPG for it.  I don't think many RPGs HAVE a good, realistic damage system (save maybe FATE, but it's all so narrative there that it really depends on the GM/Players involved).  

 

But back to topic - yes, your plan sounds reasonable.  I'd remember that the Alpha Legion are great at sabotage and misdirection, and have this guy's involvement as hidden as possible, maybe with the PCs not even actually discovering or apprehending him himself unless they roll ungodly well in their Investigations.  


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#40 Traejun

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Posted 20 March 2014 - 01:53 AM

Chaos Space Marines... proper antagonists... for Ascension campaigns.






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