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Review of DW: Final Sanction on RPGnet


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#1 captainroot

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Posted 14 June 2010 - 06:38 AM

It appears that I'm lucky when it comes to finding sneek peeks. Here's one that interests us the most.



#2 Reglathium

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Posted 14 June 2010 - 07:09 AM

Interesting... light on details but interesting none the less. Good find :)



#3 Adam France

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Posted 14 June 2010 - 07:49 AM

Hm, that doesn't seem like a particularly interesting sample adventure to me. Sounds like a bit of a railroad, with the 'missions' being the tracks you must follow. I also think the concept of hordes, while probably needed in some way, makes the opponents seem very disorganised. It suggests mobs, but as we all know the DW might be facing very organised military units. Are there rules for such enemy units too?

There are some other minor issues, such as why wouldn't DW marines be sent on a mission without at least being fully equipped with ammo?

But my main worry is that it just doesn't sound exciting to me. Another nail in the coffin of my interest in the game tbh.



#4 dvang

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Posted 14 June 2010 - 08:10 AM

Adam, since I am running the adventure next weekend I've gotten a copy of the adventure, and can hopefully discuss some of this without giving too much away:

Sounds like a bit of a railroad, with the 'missions' being the tracks you must follow.

Well, the Primary missions are needed to actually succeed, yes.

Secondary and Tertiary missions give the players bonuses to use during the game, provide extra plot information, make later encounters easier, or increase the value of the end game success, etc.  They aren't required to be completed or succeeded to complete the adventure at all, but they are very helpful.  Other than the Primary Objectives (which are mostly end goals), the PCs are free to decide what Secondary/Tertiary objectives they will attempt and in which order.  They could even ignore all Secondary and Tertiary objectives and go straight for completing the Primary, although it is much tougher to do it that way.

I also think the concept of hordes, while probably needed in some way, makes the opponents seem very disorganised. It suggests mobs, but as we all know the DW might be facing very organised military units. Are there rules for such enemy units too?

A Horde isn't a disorganized mob.  It is a name for a significant group of enemies whose combined might poses a threat to a Space Marine.  You could have a Horde of Gretchin, or a Horde of IG troopers.  They are both Hordes, but have different numbers, stats, and equipment.  So, yes, there are ways to have a Horde of organized military units.

why wouldn't DW marines be sent on a mission without at least being fully equipped with ammo?

Who says they aren't "fully equipped" with ammo at the start? Figure a full clip and 2 spares is about normal starting ammo load.  Consider if the SM are fighting a few hundred enemies for an hour or two, they'll run out of the ammo they came equipped with.   They'll also probably use up the 3 grenades they normally carry, etc.  So, yes, in any extended firefight the SM will need to restock ammo from somewhere.

After reading the adventure ... DW seems a lot of "Epic" that DH and RT.  I really like the Horde concept, the mission structure, and the mission bonuses mechanic.

 



#5 Santiago

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Posted 14 June 2010 - 10:45 AM

 I think they will have a bit more than 2 extra clips for their main weapon, for their sidearm yes but for the main weapon they would have atleast 5 to 8 reloads.
How many reloads does you average modern day soldier have?



#6 Aajav-Khan

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Posted 14 June 2010 - 11:14 AM

Santiago said:

How many reloads does you average modern day soldier have?

    Never enough .  In the Finnish Army the "official" regulation was three (3) mags for an assault rifle*. Mind you, this information is legacy of my conscript service from over a decade ago. Things might have changed.

    *This of course was routinely disregarded. With luck three mags would last, maybe, as many minutes during an engagement.



#7 dvang

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Posted 14 June 2010 - 11:52 AM

Santiago said:

 

 I think they will have a bit more than 2 extra clips for their main weapon, for their sidearm yes but for the main weapon they would have at least 5 to 8 reloads.
How many reloads does you average modern day soldier have?

 

 

I believe that I had 3 clips normally authorized/issued for my M16 and SAW, although I was not deployed into an actual warzone.

Even if they had the hypothectical 5-8 clips, you're still looking at running out of ammo after an hour or two of shooting at a couple hundred enemies, unless they are *really* conservative with their ammo.  The point is also that the SM's allies will be running out of ammo too.

For example, IIRC a Heavy Bolter has a clip size of 60, and fires ONLY full auto with a ROF of 10.  That's 6 attacks before a reload.  Considering that a combat round is what, 6-10 seconds or so, firing a burst each round, and you've got 8 clips for a heavy bolter lasting only about 10 minutes of constant shooting.

SM will be in Epic battles.  We're not talking (usually) about a small firefight, but full-blown wars. Ammo will be expended, and a supply source will be needed.



#8 Santiago

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Posted 14 June 2010 - 12:41 PM

 Also do not forget that Space Marines have Unnatural Strength and Toughness which means they can carry a lot, Power Armour does not (or at least should not) account to weight limit that leaves a lot of room for ammo



#9 Quicksilver

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Posted 14 June 2010 - 12:47 PM

Space Marines are more likely to run into volume issues before they run into weight issues when it comes to extra ammo/equipment.  Particularly if you include the Fusion-Backpack, which makes equipment and Ammo backpacks hard to use unless they've been specifily designed for Astartes use.   There's always a chance to pick up items in-field, just might not be as nice as what your used to.


90% of the time I'm posting without access to rulebooks.  Unless I say otherwise, assume everything is I.I.R.C.


#10 Artemesia

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Posted 14 June 2010 - 01:19 PM

Let's assume it's 3-4 spare magazines. 3-4 is fairly reasonable considering the capabilities inherent with being an Astartes. Assume, for the sake of argument, each only has a bolter. A bolter carries 20-30 bolts per clip with three or four backup clips equals up to about 90-120 shots per Marine, with four or more Marines per squad. If you assume, again for the sake of argument, that a Space Marine will never/rarely miss and a standard bolt is a one-shot-one-kill weapon against things like "hordes", that's quite a lot of dead guys.

Start adding in things like heavy bolters, which hold 60-100 bolts with four extra "magazines" and you've got even more dead mooks. The challenge will be in larger than life creatures/individuals which, if the GM is capable, will amount to more than just "shoot at him until he dies or you run out of bullets, then punch him a lot."



#11 gribble

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Posted 14 June 2010 - 01:25 PM

Adam France said:

Hm, that doesn't seem like a particularly interesting sample adventure to me. Sounds like a bit of a railroad, with the 'missions' being the tracks you must follow.

I don't think you understand the concept of a railroad. An adventure with strong objectives is not a railroad - it's a well designed adventure. What would make it a railroad would be if there was only one way to go about achieving the objective, and I see no evidence of that. In fact, from what dvang has said, it sounds the opposite - that there are multiple different ways of approaching and achieving the primary objective.


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#12 gribble

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Posted 14 June 2010 - 01:36 PM

Artemesia said:

If you assume, again for the sake of argument, that a Space Marine will never/rarely miss and a standard bolt is a one-shot-one-kill weapon against things like "hordes", that's quite a lot of dead guys.

From the preview, it sounds as if marine WS/BS is "in the 40-50 range". Assuming other abilities/actions to enhance things, it sounds as if marines are more like 40k tabletop marines than movie/fiction marines in which case they will hit a little over 50% of the time (in tabletop it's 66%) on average. If we assume RPG marines use roughly tabletop scale, then a bolter will an average, unarmoured, target roughly 66% of the time as well.

If we go with 66% chance to hit, and 66% chance to an average, unarmoured, human, then a marine firing a bolter will them 44% of the time. So if we assume 100 bolts (4 clips x 25 bolts/clip), a marine will, on average, around 44 foes before running out of ammo.

:)


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#13 kenshin138

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Posted 14 June 2010 - 03:12 PM

 The Horde rules are great actually. I used them quite often during the play test and found them simple and effective. It allowed me to have my kill team go up against, say, 30 termagaunts and keep the game moving without it getting bogged down.

As far as the chance to hit. Don't forget that any real marine is going to be firing a burst with his bolter, so that is a bonus, plus he is likely going up against lots of things, or large things, so there is a bonus as well. In my play test group we actually found it very, very rare to miss with most shooting unless you were trying to do something crazy.



#14 Kage2020

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Posted 14 June 2010 - 03:58 PM

Hmmn... Not a particular great review, but there are probably many reasons for that so I'll stay optimistic about the armoury and leave the rest until I can get my hands on the product.

Adam France said >>>

Hm, that doesn't seem like a particularly interesting sample adventure to me. Sounds like a bit of a railroad, with the 'missions' being the tracks you must follow.

It's nice to find someone that can be relied on to be consistently more pessimistic than me.  Thanks, Adam France.  (Friendly poking of fun, here!)

As to this particular tid-bit, I would be tempted to consider introductory "military adventures" to be fairly linear.  That and it is the introductory adventure.  None of the introductory adventures for the games have been particularly great, especially what is perhaps the most accurately named adventure in game history: Shattered Hopes  (Again, a bit tongue-in-cheek there.  If you love that adventure, or the Rogue Trader one, then that's great.  Take everything with a pinch of salt.)

Adam France said >>>

I also think the concept of hordes, while probably needed in some way, makes the opponents seem very disorganised. It suggests mobs, but as we all know the DW might be facing very organised military units. Are there rules for such enemy units too?

Well, "horde" is just a name, really, much as "xenos scum."  I tend not to pay too much attention to the flavoursome name-calling for a game set in the Imperium.  With that said, and again with the caveat that my final determination would be made when I get my hands on the adventure/game, my only real "worry" would be that it sounds a bit like "mass combat" rules in terms of turning everyone else into a "mook" while allowing the Space Marines to shine.  Not sure whether this is better than just offering solid advice on how to keep the pace of a mass combat going without using them, or having mass combat rules with plenty of flavoursome options.

Again, though, I'll have to wait and see.

Adam France said >>>

There are some other minor issues, such as why wouldn't DW marines be sent on a mission without at least being fully equipped with ammo?

This is one of those things that, as a GM, I tend to ignore.  The only time that they're going to run out of ammunition is when it would be interesting for them to do so, i.e. they are cut off from their supply lines and have to conserve their ammunition rather than going full throttle and blasting everything in sight.  When they reach that moment?  Give 'em 2-3 magazines and tell 'em to lump it. 

Hmmn... Reminds me that I'm going to have to get the latin for, "If it moves, kill it.  If it doesn't move, kill it just in case it is thinking of moving."  Seems mildly appropriate for Deathwatch!

dvang said >>>

Well, the Primary missions are needed to actually succeed, yes.

Secondary and Tertiary missions give the players bonuses to use during the game, provide extra plot information, make later encounters easier, or increase the value of the end game success, etc. They aren't required to be completed or succeeded to complete the adventure at all, but they are very helpful.

Sounds like Operation Flashpoint to me, and that's not necessarily a bad thing.

dvang said >>>

Consider if the SM are fighting a few hundred enemies for an hour or two, they'll run out of the ammo they came equipped with.

Errr, they're probably going to need a bit more ammunition than that.  (See the above, though, about my personal concerns about ammunition in most games!)

dvang said >>>

SM will be in Epic battles. We're not talking (usually) about a small firefight, but full-blown wars. Ammo will be expended, and a supply source will be needed.

I think the modus operandi of Marines remains one of those fairly hotly contested topics.  We can see it in some of the threads in this forum.

Quicksilver said >>>

Particularly if you include the Fusion-Backpack, which makes equipment and Ammo backpacks hard to use unless they've been specifily designed for Astartes use.

<sigh> And I remember the days when it was a stacked atomic chain power plant.There's always a chance to pick up items in-field, just might not be as nice as what your used to.

And, errr... What are you suggesting about the power plant and equipment and ammunition?  

Kage



#15 Adam France

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Posted 14 June 2010 - 08:55 PM

I was thinking about how to do a non-railroady sample, simple answer Twilight 2000 : Escape from Kalisz.

You could have had much the same broad objective; ie find and rescue the Inquisitor. (Though I'm not sure that sounds like an average or normal DW mission - wouldn't that be more properly handled by other agencies? Inquisitorial stormtroopers in union with other Inquisitorial staff for example, or even local Imperial forces?)

Anyway, that aside,  same basic mission objective, but an area map of a dangerous/rebellious region, with factions dotted about the map, each area gets a brisk paragraph or two of writeup, as does each faction.

For example; 

Town of Exampledorf, where the battered remnants of an IG formation are holed up after being mauled by Chaos forces (or whatever the enemy are). Numbers and dispositions. Commander notes. How will they react broadly speaking to the pcs and different orders.

Or enemy formations, or neutral ones. 

No internal railroad tracks, the pcs have their mission, how they achieve it is up to them - wasn't that the point of the game in the first place? 

So for example; the pcs could avoid contact, or ignore other Imperial units, or they could go order them about (or try to), or they could simply treat other Imperial forces as useful sources of info. With neutral groups, the pcs could try to decide if they're tainted, whether they could be used to help further the mission, etc etc - maybe they have valuable info.

The point is, NO MICROMANAGED 'MISSIONS' inside the broad objective.

 

I think words are important, horde to me suggests a wild mob that come boiling towards the pcs in a surging tide, and this is backed up by the suggestion of rules stating melee attacks on pcs by 'a horde' cannot be dodged by pcs - in other words the horde is all over the pcs hacking and pummelling at them. Also there is an implication the horde can be fired into and whittled down without much chance of missing.  

If so ... how would that work if the horde is say, a company of Blood Pack Chaos soldiers, who know how to use cover to advance, and enfilading fields of fire, and artillery, etc etc? The horde rules sound wrong for that kind of organised, disciplined, and well equipped, enemy military unit.

 

The recent Word Bearer novels show Chaos Marines (okay bit different but the principle is much the same) blazing away for a long while, going thru clip after clip before the novels mention they're getting low on ammo. I would personally guess a marine's armour would allow a fair few clips to be carried - off the top of my head, I'd guess 7-8 clips. 

Is it even likely there will be stores of space marine scale bolter ammo to find on an agri world anyway?

Are the team completed unsupported? If so maybe they should be turning their guns on their commanders?



#16 dvang

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Posted 15 June 2010 - 08:54 AM

@Kage:

Keep in mind that most individuals are not on par, nor a threat, to a SM. 'Horde' seems to be a method of grouping these individuals into a unit that together become a threat. It's not "mook" rules, where the objective is to allow the players to kill a lot of enemies simply and quickly. It seems to me that the Horde rules are there to make enemies actually be a threat to SM. For example, a single refugee has a knife that does 1d5+4 total (after strength). He won't be able to hurt the SM who has a T8 and 8 points of power armor. Now, make it a Horde of refugees, and they end up increased in power so they could do, for example, 6d5 + 4 (or somesuch, I'm making numbers up but the concept is the same). It is a way to boost less threatening enemies up to SM par. Orks, for example, won't usually be made into a Horde because, they are on par with a SM individually. A single Horde could consist of anywhere from 2-100 indivuals (or so) from what I can tell from reading the demo adventure, although more likely in the 20-40 range.

"i.e. they are cut off from their supply lines and have to conserve their ammunition rather than going full throttle and blasting everything in sight."

Umm yes, that's pretty much the situation.

@Adam

You could have had much the same broad objective; ie find and rescue the Inquisitor. (Though I'm not sure that sounds like an average or normal DW mission

You'll need to read/see the background of the adventure about why the DW team was called in. Then it will make sense why one of the objectives is to find the Inquisitor, although I'll give you a hint that it is not a primary objective and is essentially optional. I can't really divulge the Primary Objectives without spoiling the adventure, but suffice to say it is totally appropriate for a Deathwatch team to be called in to do it.

No internal railroad tracks, the pcs have their mission, how they achieve it is up to them - wasn't that the point of the game in the first place?

There is still information to uncover (like the whereabouts of the missing Inquisitor, as one example), and a lot of ways to go about doing all of them. Does your group of SM want to kill everything in sight? They can do so. Do they want to be stealthy and sneak about the city, avoiding combat? They can do so. Do they want to let XXX be killed/captured by the enemy? They can do so. Do they want to save YYYY from the enemy? They can do so. There are allies to coordinate, enemies to uncover and neutralize (by whatever means they decide on), etc.  Pretty much the only thing the PCs "must" do are the two Primary Objectives.  If they fail those, well, then they've failed their mission.  Needless to say, often a Deathwatch Team failing their mission is a BAD THING for the Imperium.  Nothing tells the PCs *how* to complete the Primary missions, though.

I think words are important, horde to me suggests a wild mob that come boiling towards the pcs in a surging tide, and this is backed up by the suggestion of rules stating melee attacks on pcs by 'a horde' cannot be dodged by pcs - in other words the horde is all over the pcs hacking and pummelling at them. Also there is an implication the horde can be fired into and whittled down without much chance of missing.

No, the reason you cannot avoid a horde's attacks is that there are TOO MANY of them to reasonably dodge. You can have a Horde of disciplined troops. Horde is a term used to identify a quantity of enemies made into a single group. It has nothing, as far as I can tell, to do with the quality of the enemies in the Horde. So, you could have a Horde of refugees that represent and act like a wild mob. You could also have a Horde of Imperial Guardsmen, ranked up and firing laguns.

Combat against a Horde seems a bit more abstract than small unit combat, as you don't seem to model/account for the position of every member of the Horde (as near as I can tell). See my note to Kage above. Horde is a method of grouping weaker enemies (or allies) so that they become closer to the threat/power level of a SM.

I would personally guess a marine's armour would allow a fair few clips to be carried - off the top of my head, I'd guess 7-8 clips.

Again, if you're facing 3-4 Hordes of 40-50 individuals each, even accounting for both hits and misses, the SM will run low/out of ammo fairly quickly even with 7-8 clips for their bolters.

Are the team completed unsupported? If so maybe they should be turning their guns on their commanders?

You'll have to see the situation that the adventure puts the team in. Keep in mind, that the DW killteam ARE the commanders. They have no one above them locally, although they should possibly listen to an inquisitor, planetary governor, or SM Chapter Master if there is one nearby. Typically, DW Killteams are given some general mission and dispatched out to a location. There, they are pretty much left to their own devices to accomplish the mission, and adapt to intelligence and a changing situation after they've reached the location. There is almost never a local "commander" with the authority to give them orders.


 



#17 Kage2020

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Posted 15 June 2010 - 12:33 PM

dvang said >>>

Keep in mind that most individuals are not on par, nor a threat, to a SM. 'Horde' seems to be a method of grouping these individuals into a unit that together become a threat.

Which is as much a "worry" as anything else, to be fair.  Your mention of damage merely reinforces the issues inherent in the mechanics (well, to some) with regards to Unnatural Toughness.  As you describe them, "Horde" rules seem like a worrying fix to what is otherwise a fundamental problem.  Again, though, as you describe them-I understand that you're not allowed to talk about such things thus cannot present the full situation etc.

dvang said >>>

It is a way to boost less threatening enemies up to SM par.

Seems to me like a really unnecessary thing to balance, which makes me wonder about the reasoning behind it.  Ah well, guess we'll have to wait to see for ourselves...

Edit: And why does the forum software now prevent you from using a double dash for an em-dash?  Grrrr.

Kage



#18 Moff8

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Posted 16 June 2010 - 03:10 AM

Why oh why can't it be released on Friday instead, my gaming group (and one in particular) would love to try this and they are coming to mine this Friday. Oh well.

I have to say I haven't been looking forward to seeing a new RPG as much as this one in quite a while. My DH group are all level 6 and looking at ascending. I have maneouvered them onto a RT starship with their Inquisitor and her Deathwatch bodyguards in anticipation of its release.

Can't wait :)

Thomas



#19 Herne

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Posted 16 June 2010 - 05:06 AM

Does anyone know if/when it'll be available as a download?



#20 dvang

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Posted 16 June 2010 - 07:14 AM

Kage, do keep in mind that everything I'm saying is based upon just reading the demo adventure.  I haven't playtested DW or anything, so I could be wrong to some extent.  However,

Which is as much a "worry" as anything else, to be fair. Your mention of damage merely reinforces the issues inherent in the mechanics (well, to some) with regards to Unnatural Toughness. As you describe them, "Horde" rules seem like a worrying fix to what is otherwise a fundamental problem.

I'm not sure why it is really a problem.  A SM *should* be nearly invulnerable (barring lucky fury) to a single Joe Shmoe on the street unless Joe's toting a MP lascannon.  It makes perfect sense to me, however, that a large enough quantity of knives/lasguns could cause enough damage to be a threat to even a SM.  Rather than have a GM run an encounter with 40 individuals vs a couple SM, FFG made rules to simplify groups of enemies into, in essence, a single opponent.  So, rather than rolling the dice 40 times for each of the enemies, the GM rolls once for the 40-man Horde unit.  Instead of rolling damage 40 times, looking for a fury, the GM rolls damage once and the typical damage is increased by a value depending on the size of the Horde. To me, using Hordes seems to both make a lot of sense as well as make the GM's life easier.

Enemies and encounters for the DW team can now consist of single opponents and/or Hordes of "lesser" opponents, and all opponents can be a threat to the team, without becoming unmanageable in quantity.

Seems to me like a really unnecessary thing to balance, which makes me wonder about the reasoning behind it.

Why? As I said, SMs are inherently more powerful than most normal people.  It's pretty much a fact, and we wouldn't want it any other way.  The Horde rules make it so that the GM can use 'average' folks as enemies for the PCs.






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