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Deathwatch: not just aliens anymore


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#1 The Laughing God

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Posted 27 February 2010 - 11:05 PM

 Does it seem to you they have broadened the scope of Deathwatch assignments? Formerly, in the canon fluff the Deathwatch spacemarines were sent out only to combat xenos. From the description for this new book, however, we can glean that now they not just have aliens but also heretics and Chaos to contend with!

This seems okay as combating solely aliens would rob players of a lot of W40K background. However, I do wonder what the difference with Dark Heresy would be, where acolytes also work against these three threats - heretics, xenos and chaos - but I take it the new game will be a lot more combat-oriented.


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#2 The Hobo Hunter

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Posted 27 February 2010 - 11:53 PM

While they are the Chamber Militant of the Ordo Xenos and thus dedicated to anti-xenos campaigns, it would be well within their duty to take on other enemies of mankind.

Grey Knights don't let waves of heretics get past them while they stop to call up the Sisters of Battle to do it for them, and neither would Deathwatch.



#3 Wolftemplar

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Posted 28 February 2010 - 02:27 AM

The Hobo Hunter said:

While they are the Chamber Militant of the Ordo Xenos and thus dedicated to anti-xenos campaigns, it would be well within their duty to take on other enemies of mankind.

Grey Knights don't let waves of heretics get past them while they stop to call up the Sisters of Battle to do it for them, and neither would Deathwatch.

 

very true. the primary duty of the ordo xenos is "cleanse the xenos and any who associate with them with the 'holy bolter'". But Deathwatch are marines long before joining, thus they follow the "cleanse, purge, kill" mindset



#4 Aajav-Khan

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Posted 28 February 2010 - 03:58 AM

    Yes, matters of jurisdiction are something that should not concern an Astartes on a mission. Wait, let me amend that a bit. In most cases it should not. If you happen across a Chaos Cultist, traitor guardsman or a Daemon while purging some Xenos, of course you are going to take care of them.

   But certainly some Imperial factions do have the means and power to raise a fuss regarding issues relevant to them. Adeptus Mechanicus might want to get their hands on that Xenos tech you conveniently just secured. The Lord-Commander Militant might express his displeasure of not having been informed of a strike force operating on his War Zone. And let us not even begin on the Inquisition and its many factions...



#5 Kanluwen

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Posted 28 February 2010 - 04:11 AM

The Hobo Hunter said:

While they are the Chamber Militant of the Ordo Xenos and thus dedicated to anti-xenos campaigns, it would be well within their duty to take on other enemies of mankind.

Grey Knights don't let waves of heretics get past them while they stop to call up the Sisters of Battle to do it for them, and neither would Deathwatch.


Well of course the Grey Knights wouldn't let waves of heretics get past them...most of the time when the Grey Knights are called in, those heretics are calling in Daemons or actively fighting alongside Daemons.

Which turns it from an Ordos Hereticus matter to Ordos Malleus. That's kind of the issue with the overlap between Hereticus/Malleus. While in their early stages, a Cult or a band of heretics that are attempting to make contact with their masters in the Warp, it's a pretty clear-cut Hereticus matter. I mean, by the time we have Daemons running around chopping people to bits, there's no real reason to argue "Well, these heretics are our targets and you Grey Knights take out the Daemons. Because that's what we specialize in" if one Ordos or another isn't present.

 

With the Ordos Xenos it's a bit of a different ballgame. There's no real overlap, outside of the odd Xenos cult or Rogue Trader making contact with Xenos and opening trade routes.



#6 Mjoellnir

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Posted 28 February 2010 - 06:12 AM

Kanluwen said:

With the Ordos Xenos it's a bit of a different ballgame. There's no real overlap, outside of the odd Xenos cult or Rogue Trader making contact with Xenos and opening trade routes.

 

Well, there are also demons that manipulate xenos and xenos that summon demons. And there is always the "We're the nearest ship."-trope. If there are problems with a demon infestation, or a cult of heretics supported by a few chaos marines must be put down on an important world of the Adeptus Mechanicus and the Deathwatch-team is just the nearest bunch of superhuman killing machines that isn't tied up with something they'll do the job. However that should not be overused. Their main goals should still be xenos-related.



#7 Brother Praetus

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Posted 28 February 2010 - 07:53 AM

All serve the immortal Emperor.  Each Ordo overlaps in field of expertise and "jurisdiction."  Honestly, though, none quite so much as Ordo Hereticus.  Got a blasphemous division within the Ecclesiarchy?  Hereticus.  Cult activity linked to a Xenos infiltration?  Hereticus.  Unsanctioned Psykers corrupting the minds of Imperial youths and calling up foul Dæmons of the warp?  Hereticus.

There really isn't a "jurisdictional" divide within the Ordos as there are fields of expertise.  Same with their Chamber Militants.  Plus, there are minor Ordos whose members can also potentially call on the Deathwatch, Grey Knights and/or Sister of Battle as the case warrants.

-=Brother Praetus=-


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#8 Kanluwen

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Posted 28 February 2010 - 07:55 AM

I wonder if we'll ever see the Ordos Cadia/Sepulturum in Dark Heresy or Deathwatch...

 

Oh man, zombie hunting action with a group of Kasrkin in the Cadian sub-sector would be amazing.



#9 The Hobo Hunter

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Posted 28 February 2010 - 10:29 AM

Mjoellnir said:

Well, there are also demons that manipulate xenos and xenos that summon demons.

*cough**cough* Eldar mythology *cough*Khaine, the guy with the bloody hand and the big headgear*cough*



#10 Giaus Novus Khan

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Posted 28 February 2010 - 11:46 AM

I think some of the Chaos ships are describes as having Xenos componants - and Heretcial Cults may well be Xeno infiltrated...  Also I bet lots of Xenos get warp taint...  makes sense to me!



#11 Artaxerxes

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Posted 28 February 2010 - 11:57 AM

Deathwatch and Grey Knights as FBI/Cops in a juristiction case would be amusing

 

Brother Belius in A day in the life of a Marine, Volume I: "Not many know that after every combat encounter form 51a must be filled in for each thing you've killed, which causes big headaches when facing Necrons, and for 8c must be filled in for each clip of ammunition left unaccounted for. Belius is tired of paperwork but keeps stupid Grey Knights off our ass"



#12 Hellebore

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Posted 28 February 2010 - 12:34 PM

You have to be careful how much importance you place on it though. The PRIMARY focus of the deathwatch is alien destruction. There are plenty of organisations out there to handle things that AREN'T the destruction of aliens. The Deathwatch wouldn't respond to distress calls from a rebeling planet because their duty is far more important than putting down a rebellion.

If they discover heresy in the field they MIGHT stop to snuff it out - if they actually have time.

'Drop for erradication. T-minus 2 minutes until contact. Heretic cell uncovered, estimated time for destruction 2 minutes 33 seconds. Unacceptable time loss, Ignore cell. Primary mission remains.'

But the idea that one of the most specialised groups in the imperium will stop to kill everything on the way to their primary mission is just silly. If that was how they all acted it wouldn't be necessary to HAVE such specialist divisions, any military force would do.

 

Hellebore



#13 Drais

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Posted 28 February 2010 - 02:28 PM

Are Necrons considered Xenos?



#14 Kanluwen

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Posted 28 February 2010 - 02:36 PM

Of course they are?

 

Xenos are anything that can't be neatly fit into the categories of "The Enemy Within" or "The Enemy from Beyond"(meaning the Warp).

While a C'tan can be considered in layman's terms a "daemon", it most definitely is not(the C'tan and Necrontyr have been trying to collapse the Warp since they fought with the Old Ones before even the Eldar were created).



#15 Kerrahn

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Posted 28 February 2010 - 11:26 PM

The concerns about Deathwatch fighting non-Xenos wouldn't be so big if GW had actually released the Alien/Xenos Hunters Codex.

Afterall, the Witch Hunters and Daemonhunters books both include a 2-page spread of reasons their faction might be fighting each race; including Witch Hunters fighting Xenos armies and Daemon-focused Chaos armies, and the Daemonhunters fighting Xenos for reasons other than "their leader is possessed by a Daemon etc".

As others have said, its perfectly fine for the Deathwatch to be assigned with non-Xenos-killing assignments if they're the only group in the area able to help.

Also, the Deathwatch might be serving under an Inquisitor working with other Ordos because their goals are related.

Scourge the Heretic and Innocence Proves Nothing (Dark Heresy novels), the main group of Acolytes (from Ordo Hereticus) are trying to hunt down rogue psykers and heretics, who are in turn being aided by a group known by the Faxlignae (not sure if that's the right spelling) who use Xenos tech. This in turn has the acolytes eventually working alongside an Ordo Xenox Inquisitor who has a Deathwatch team under his command. Also, an Ordo Malleus Inquisitor is asked to help because the Hereticus acolytes believed they had fought some Daemons along the way.

This very example shows Deathwatch working to aid in matters not necessarily related to Xenos directly, and while the Faxlignae are their target, they end up fighting nothing even remotely Alien.

Its also possible that maybe something believed to be caused by Xenos are actually caused by something else (maybe Tzeentch cultists are leaving misleading evidence to throw off any Grey Knight pursuit), or while in-between missions (or even on one), they are caught in the middle of a conflict due to Daemon incursions, heretical uprisings etc.

Just a few ideas.



#16 Routa-maa

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Posted 02 March 2010 - 05:15 AM

Hellebore said:

You have to be careful how much importance you place on it though. The PRIMARY focus of the deathwatch is alien destruction. There are plenty of organisations out there to handle things that AREN'T the destruction of aliens. The Deathwatch wouldn't respond to distress calls from a rebeling planet because their duty is far more important than putting down a rebellion.

If they discover heresy in the field they MIGHT stop to snuff it out - if they actually have time.

'Drop for erradication. T-minus 2 minutes until contact. Heretic cell uncovered, estimated time for destruction 2 minutes 33 seconds. Unacceptable time loss, Ignore cell. Primary mission remains.'

But the idea that one of the most specialised groups in the imperium will stop to kill everything on the way to their primary mission is just silly. If that was how they all acted it wouldn't be necessary to HAVE such specialist divisions, any military force would do.

 

Hellebore

 

Let me add the collecting of Xenos artifact's and genetic samples. And before somebody yells at me THEY do collect Xenos artifact's. Most of the groups are lead by experienced Xenos Inquisitor and if he find's some Xeno's tech that may be useful to human's, and he's little bit radical , he takes it and brings it for studying. Some of the weapon's in Inquisitors armoury is of Xenos origin for example C'tan Phaseblade, name says from where that's from

Some Deathwatch marines might not like it but they have obligation to follow the Inquisitor's orders. They might say their mind but don't disobey orders for that way lies heresy and damnation.

You could say it's silly that you found some Daemon worshiping cult, that is just summoning Greater Daemon or trying to create Warpstorm, while you're investigating Genestealer infestation you just say : " Not our Primary Mission lets inform the Hereticus or Malleus and they can come clean this cell." That's LUNATIC. Anything that is compromising the stability of Empire is eradicated when found. NO EXCEPTIONS.

 


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#17 Lyinar

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Posted 02 March 2010 - 06:08 AM

The possibility of target misidentification is a lot stronger in a Dark Heresy game, IMO.  My plan was to give the group I was running, an Ordo Hereticus cell of Acolytes, threat briefings on Daemons and Aliens as well as Heretics, because they might just run into all three in the course of their investigations.  After all, Genestealer infiltrations tend to have similar enough modus operandi to Chaos Cults to get a group of Hereticus operatives investigating them.

Death Watch tend to be brought in after target identification is made, but the potential to come into conflict with the forces of Chaos is still there.  Maybe the Ork Warboss they've been tasked with assassinating has inadvertantly weakened the veil between the Warp and realspace with his WAAAGH, and Khornate daemons are coming out to play.  Maybe the Eldar who suddenly showed up and staked claim to part of an Imperial world and are stomping the frak out of anyone who tries to remove them are there to stop a Daemon incursion before it happens (which would make an interesting scenario...  nothing causes quite the same intra-party interactions as the players having to deal with a far worse problem than what they were sent in to stop, BECAUSE they stopped the original threat).

Fighting human enemies is pretty easy to work into a Death Watch game, actually...  There are any number of humans who would traffic with Xenos artifacts, bow down before their new alien overlords, etc.



#18 Hellebore

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Posted 02 March 2010 - 10:41 AM

Routa-maa said:

Let me add the collecting of Xenos artifact's and genetic samples. And before somebody yells at me THEY do collect Xenos artifact's. Most of the groups are lead by experienced Xenos Inquisitor and if he find's some Xeno's tech that may be useful to human's, and he's little bit radical , he takes it and brings it for studying. Some of the weapon's in Inquisitors armoury is of Xenos origin for example C'tan Phaseblade, name says from where that's from

Some Deathwatch marines might not like it but they have obligation to follow the Inquisitor's orders. They might say their mind but don't disobey orders for that way lies heresy and damnation.

You could say it's silly that you found some Daemon worshiping cult, that is just summoning Greater Daemon or trying to create Warpstorm, while you're investigating Genestealer infestation you just say : " Not our Primary Mission lets inform the Hereticus or Malleus and they can come clean this cell." That's LUNATIC. Anything that is compromising the stability of Empire is eradicated when found. NO EXCEPTIONS.

 

Sure but deathwatch aren't exactly dropped into situations where the above is happening all the time. The threat has been determined ahead of time. If that threat was uncovered it would be silly to assume that the other diversionary threat hadn't also been uncovered (which COULD provide some interesting RP, deathwatch marines on a misson run into some grey knights on a different one).

But, even if a greater deamon was being summoned, if their original objective was deemed more important and they didn't have time to do both they'd have have to do it. Basically it's unlikley they could foil two plots at the same time which leaves them calling for backup to contain the other threat while they finish the other one.

In the scheme of things I'm not sure that one greater daemon in the bowels of the underhive would cause that much damage. It probably wouldn't be manifested for long either.

 

But given the resources behind them I doubt that on every mission they'd simply run into dozens of other non mission problems.

 

Hellebore



#19 Calden

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Posted 02 March 2010 - 09:01 PM

I'm trying to remember the reason behind the Brother-Sergeant being sent along with the Acolytes in Shades on Twilight. The mission would mostly fall under the jurisdiction of the Ordo Malleus, as the Sword they were after used to belong to one of their Inquisitors. I can assume he was sent along not because the mission was an Ordo Xeno's mission, but because boarding a Space Hulk is almost a guaranteed way of encountering all sorts of wierd Xenos. So you also have scope for them taking part in missions that are the focus of another Ordo, but where their specialist knowledge is very useful.



#20 Zamnil Blackaxe

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Posted 02 March 2010 - 11:59 PM

Kanluwen said:

I wonder if we'll ever see the Ordos Cadia/Sepulturum in Dark Heresy or Deathwatch...

 

Oh man, zombie hunting action with a group of Kasrkin in the Cadian sub-sector would be amazing.

Well, what's stopping you from doing that right now in your DH and soon to be DW game? Nothing :D!






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