Jump to content



Photo

How to kill a marine...


  • Please log in to reply
45 replies to this topic

#1 Azareth

Azareth

    Member

  • Members
  • 6 posts

Posted 30 July 2011 - 08:55 AM

I'm now a "veteran" GM of one Deathwatch game, we managed to play about a good third of the Final Sanction adventure today, and i just got to say that the marines ability to shake off ridiculous amounts of damage was insane...(although my crappy dicerolls didn't help one bit)

Okay the rebel hordes in the adventure are not really meant as a serious threat but still my kill-team (Devastator marine, Assault marine, Librarian and an Apothecary) managed to rout size 50 hordes in one round of combat easily... (Hmmm... I might need to put some orc hordes into the mix)

Psychic powers seem to be really devastating to hordes, at least the Avenger power which turns the Librarian into a walking heavy flamer which gives 1d5 + range/3 magnitude damage plus the extra 1d10 since it's an area effect psychic power. (If I'm interpreting the rules correctly) 

So the question to all you veteran DW GMs, and the reason for this post, is how have you managed to kill a marine or marines in your games? Of course players can also tell their great stories of valour and death...
(I got really close with the help of six genestealers and a few lucky dicerolls...)

 



#2 Captain Ventris

Captain Ventris

    Member

  • Members
  • 302 posts

Posted 30 July 2011 - 10:49 AM

The Errata states that Avenger is not treated like a Psychic power against hordes, but instead entirely handled like a Heavy Flamer, so that last 1D10 is incorrect.

The Errata can be found on the FFG Deathwatch site in the Support section.



#3 N0-1_H3r3

N0-1_H3r3

    Former Contributing Freelance Writer

  • Members
  • 3,292 posts

Posted 30 July 2011 - 10:50 AM

Azareth said:

I'm now a "veteran" GM of one Deathwatch game, we managed to play about a good third of the Final Sanction adventure today, and i just got to say that the marines ability to shake off ridiculous amounts of damage was insane...(although my crappy dicerolls didn't help one bit)

Okay the rebel hordes in the adventure are not really meant as a serious threat but still my kill-team (Devastator marine, Assault marine, Librarian and an Apothecary) managed to rout size 50 hordes in one round of combat easily... (Hmmm... I might need to put some orc hordes into the mix)

Psychic powers seem to be really devastating to hordes, at least the Avenger power which turns the Librarian into a walking heavy flamer which gives 1d5 + range/3 magnitude damage plus the extra 1d10 since it's an area effect psychic power. (If I'm interpreting the rules correctly) 

So the question to all you veteran DW GMs, and the reason for this post, is how have you managed to kill a marine or marines in your games? Of course players can also tell their great stories of valour and death...
(I got really close with the help of six genestealers and a few lucky dicerolls...)

 

So far, my campaign has had two deaths and a single retirement. The first death was the Librarian's own fault - he pushed a Smite to have a chance of hurting a Chaos Predator and accidentally expelled himself from reality, leaving a Daemon Prince in his place.

The second death was the Black Templar Assault Marine, whose Fate Points spared him from the Daemon Prince's wrath long enough for him and the Blood Angel Assault Marine to banish it, and then used his last point to Heroic Sacrifice when the Eldar arrived to claim the relic that both the Deathwatch and the Word Bearers had been fighting over. He was eventually decapitated by a Warlock's Witch Blade.

The retirement was the group's Apothecary, who lost all his wounds (and he's lucky to have not lost more) to the Predator's lascannons, a leg to a Chaos Biker's Plasma Gun, and some of his sanity and purity to the Daemon Prince (he was already raking in the Insanity Points from one of his Armour Histories, and had accumulated three Battle Fatigues and the first stage of his Primarch's Curse). The player chose to retire the character at the end of the mission.

Beyond that, it's rare that a mission doesn't end in a few lingering injuries (the most recent mission saw the group's Devastator lose his right arm to concentrated Burst Cannon fire from a 3-man Stealth Suit Team), and characters are seldom on full Wounds once a mission has begun. Yes, a half-way competent Kill-Team can obliterate staggering numbers of enemies at considerable speed... but an enemy played smart is a deadly one (for example, I deploy Fire Warrior Teams (Mag-25 hordes) in such a way that you can't close on one without at least two Teams able to see and fire on you).

With Final Sanction, the rebel Hordes aren't a big deal for the most part, but the Genestealers are a terror if the group isn't expecting them (Genestealers should be used carefully, employing stealth and taking advantage of terrain; you shouldn't actually need more than 1 per player at any one time if they're sneaky). Should you carry on into Oblivion's Edge, my advice is to never underestimate the number of creatures the PCs can kill, and to employ numerous and fairly large (30-60 magnitude) waves of lesser creatures. The true terror of the Tyranids in battle is not whether or not you can kill them, but whether or not you can kill enough of them before your ammo runs dry... don't be afraid to give them too many targets, because that ensures that the group is under pressure... and similarly, don't be afraid to make the attacks stop suddenly and without reason - in my experience, the mystery of why the Tyranids left (and never give an explanation why) is sufficient to keep players paranoid even as they take a breather...


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 and Ark of Lost Souls


#4 Polaria

Polaria

    Member

  • Members
  • 734 posts

Posted 30 July 2011 - 06:33 PM

My campaign has had no deaths so far. Fate points have been burned to avoid death, though. Closest calls were:

- Thunderhawk being shot down mid-air. Everyone dropped from 500 meters, a few guys had jump packs. Rest had to burn fate points to land on Dark Eldar Raiders sails and avoid hell of a lot of damage.

- Six Tau stealthsuits and two devilfishes pinning the group down with burstcannons. Without some very good sniping with missile launchers and almost desperate frontal charge the group would have all slowly, but surely died as wounds started to pile up from the burstcannons and they had real trouble of returning fire due to not even seeing the stealthsuits.

- Genestealers. I used only only four genestealers during the mission and all of them one (1) at a time but the damage they did was massive. The deal is that the Kill Team was in underhive tunnels and every time a genestealer got close I had the point man take an opposed perception test against genestealer. Whoever won got the initiative on first round with engagement distance starting at around 15 meters. Even with the Space Wolf on point they had serious trouble because the tunnels were very small and only point man and the second guy behind him could fire safely. Have you ever tried to kill a genestealer with two bolters in one round? Its not as easy as you'd think...



#5 ak-73

ak-73

    Member

  • Members
  • 3,682 posts

Posted 31 July 2011 - 10:08 AM

Azareth said:

I'm now a "veteran" GM of one Deathwatch game, we managed to play about a good third of the Final Sanction adventure today, and i just got to say that the marines ability to shake off ridiculous amounts of damage was insane...(although my crappy dicerolls didn't help one bit)

 

A third. That's the point. I challenge you to run test of your group vs the 6 Genestealers in preparation for the next session. Assume the Genestealers can initiate a charge to begin the combat as they drop from the ceiling.

 

Alex



#6 Polaria

Polaria

    Member

  • Members
  • 734 posts

Posted 01 August 2011 - 06:50 PM

The real test of GM-ship in Deathwatch is balancing the encounters and its not an easy feat. The problem is that DW is playing in the upper edges of the DH/RT/DW/BC game system and its showing. You say marines can take unbelievable amounts of damage? I'd say its not so. I'll elaborate.

Average Marine has 8 to 10 points of armor and 8 to 10 points of Toughness Bonus.

Throw in a 30 magnitude Rebel Horde and a single, undodgeable hit will do, 3d10+3 Pen0 (lasguns), or 4d10+4 Pen2 (heavy stubbers). The average damage is 20 points for lasgun horde and 26 for stubber horde. That means 0 to 4 points will get through to marine from lasguns or 8 to 12 points from stubbers... Assuming no enemy rolls Righteous Fury. Great, that means that after two or three hits they are Heavily Wounded and First Aid doesn't help them much anymore. If the enemies target randomly they will die and marines get away scot free. If the enemies concentrate their fire on one marine at a time the marine will die.

With genestealers in play it gets better... a single hit from Lordsholm stealer will do 2d10+12, pen 5 with a very real chance of rending talons upping the penetration to 10. That means a single swipe from those claws will do, on the average, 23 points with pen of 5 or 10. Thats 8 to 15 points of damage getting through, PER HIT. Once again assuming no Righteous Fury is rolled. The genestealer hits you ONCE and you are heavily wounded right away. The only defence the Marines have is killing those stealers before ever getting to close combat distance. If the stealers get to hit, the blood WILL flow.

The combat in Deathwatch is very either-or. Either you kill the enemies so quickly that you get only a few points of damage which the Apothecary will heal easily. Or you DON'T kill them quickly enough and then you are probably Heavily Wounded, Critically Wounded or burning Fate Points... That means GM must balance things not with the number of foes, but also with distance, lines-of-sight and such things in mind. If you assume all fights happen in middle of open football field the combat becomes just silly.



#7 Redemption NL

Redemption NL

    Member

  • Members
  • 68 posts

Posted 01 August 2011 - 09:26 PM

Polaria said:

The real test of GM-ship in Deathwatch is balancing the encounters and its not an easy feat. The problem is that DW is playing in the upper edges of the DH/RT/DW/BC game system and its showing. You say marines can take unbelievable amounts of damage? I'd say its not so. I'll elaborate.

Average Marine has 8 to 10 points of armor and 8 to 10 points of Toughness Bonus.

Throw in a 30 magnitude Rebel Horde and a single, undodgeable hit will do, 3d10+3 Pen0 (lasguns), or 4d10+4 Pen2 (heavy stubbers). The average damage is 20 points for lasgun horde and 26 for stubber horde. That means 0 to 4 points will get through to marine from lasguns or 8 to 12 points from stubbers... Assuming no enemy rolls Righteous Fury. Great, that means that after two or three hits they are Heavily Wounded and First Aid doesn't help them much anymore. If the enemies target randomly they will die and marines get away scot free. If the enemies concentrate their fire on one marine at a time the marine will die.

With genestealers in play it gets better... a single hit from Lordsholm stealer will do 2d10+12, pen 5 with a very real chance of rending talons upping the penetration to 10. That means a single swipe from those claws will do, on the average, 23 points with pen of 5 or 10. Thats 8 to 15 points of damage getting through, PER HIT. Once again assuming no Righteous Fury is rolled. The genestealer hits you ONCE and you are heavily wounded right away. The only defence the Marines have is killing those stealers before ever getting to close combat distance. If the stealers get to hit, the blood WILL flow.

The combat in Deathwatch is very either-or. Either you kill the enemies so quickly that you get only a few points of damage which the Apothecary will heal easily. Or you DON'T kill them quickly enough and then you are probably Heavily Wounded, Critically Wounded or burning Fate Points... That means GM must balance things not with the number of foes, but also with distance, lines-of-sight and such things in mind. If you assume all fights happen in middle of open football field the combat becomes just silly.

NPCs don't benefit from Righteous Fury unless they have the Touched by the Fates trait. But yeah, it's one of my dislikes of the DW ruleset, that balance is very binary for a lot of things. Either you do nothing or you completely destroy an enemy in one hit. Either you walk though hails of small weapons fire without any effect, or you get destoyed by a 'stealer in one hit. Battles tend to be very short and brutal. I know it's very fluffy and all, but it can be annoying to balance and to know that you can always be one bad dice roll from full health to death. Thank the Emperor for Fate points. :)



#8 Rexasure

Rexasure

    Member

  • Members
  • 14 posts

Posted 12 September 2011 - 02:48 AM

I once used a tau XV-88 Broadside and the Rail cannon killed one outright...... twas before the RoB came out though.



#9 Gaire

Gaire

    Member

  • Members
  • 348 posts

Posted 12 September 2011 - 11:22 AM

 No surprise there. Rail Cannons are anti-armor. Against a marine, they'll just leave so much red mist.



#10 fleshbearer

fleshbearer

    Member

  • Members
  • 57 posts

Posted 02 October 2011 - 01:39 AM

Space Marines have high mitigation but low health. This means that versus tough things, they will either take no damage (eg storm shield, soak etc) or take a hell of a lot.



#11 DaedalRogue

DaedalRogue

    Member

  • Members
  • 47 posts

Posted 02 October 2011 - 06:43 AM

I've killed and Maimed a few characters in my game.

The only Character outright killed was a Techmarine who was killed by a friendly devastator who fired into melee combat as the tech marine was engaged with an Ork Warboss. Admittedly the Tech-marine had a giant ork fork stuck in him as this Warboss had a penchant for eating the humans he'd slain and was inclined the shuck the armor off the marine and eat him alive. But that's beside the point. He was pinned to the ground under the warboss' foot and the devastator opened fire with a full burst hitting him twice in the head and a third time in the torso. The weapons fire did kill the warboss at the same time but it killed his battle brother as well.

As for maiming. The Apothecary lost her hand to a krak grenade when a suicide grot attacked her. The Devastator lost his leg to autocannon fire from a ork converted vehicle. So there was a little bit of damage done.

The key really is to try to balance the encounter, or even take the attitude of 'I want to kill my players off' so throw curve balls at them. Chaos Space marines, 'Ard Nobs with big shootas or blades, a daemon here or there. The more they overcome the more confident they'll be and the better it can be to adapt to whatever you throw at them.



#12 Charmander

Charmander

    Member

  • Members
  • 1,491 posts

Posted 05 October 2011 - 01:16 PM

Polaria said:

The real test of GM-ship in Deathwatch is balancing the encounters and its not an easy feat. The problem is that DW is playing in the upper edges of the DH/RT/DW/BC game system and its showing. You say marines can take unbelievable amounts of damage? I'd say its not so. I'll elaborate.

+1, piling on

This is the big trick.  It is actually not difficult to hurt or kill a marine, the trick is in hurting him 'moderately.'  Simple hordes, probably not going to hurt tougher marines.  A CSM squad equipped with varied weapons like meltas or a lascannon mean characters burning fate.  Walking the middle ground is tough to do.  It's the same issue I've seen in many 'high level' settings. 

So far the trick for me is controlling the environment the encounter takes place in and using combinations of enemies.



#13 Terraneaux

Terraneaux

    Member

  • Members
  • 226 posts

Posted 06 October 2011 - 10:03 AM

 Pretty much.  First time messing around with the system I accidentally a couple of marines with a mega nob with a power klaw.  Kind of my mistake, I guess.



#14 Moirdryd

Moirdryd

    Member

  • Members
  • 32 posts

Posted 07 October 2011 - 01:20 PM

It's a fine line to tread for sure. But that's almost archetypical of the Astartes. Concentrated Horde fire will hurt marines even if it's lasguns, unless the marine has cover. But dont forget in that Horde you can sneak something like a Plasma Gun or an AutoCannon. Elites often can and do bring on the pain, but they are kind of meant to do that and Masters are often a challenge as desired.

 

Dont forget Marines have alot of  Wounds and have ways of ignoring some critical effects while also taking less # of Crits by hit as well. Long term healing is something that may or maynot be a factor due to mission type and style, but is often less critical in DW than in DH. Give if a few Missions and it's easy to tell where the Hurt-InstaKill barrier is for your KillTeam. 

 



#15 LETE

LETE

    Member

  • Members
  • 636 posts

Posted 08 October 2011 - 04:54 AM

Redemption NL said:

Polaria said:

 

The real test of GM-ship in Deathwatch is balancing the encounters and its not an easy feat. The problem is that DW is playing in the upper edges of the DH/RT/DW/BC game system and its showing. You say marines can take unbelievable amounts of damage? I'd say its not so. I'll elaborate.

Average Marine has 8 to 10 points of armor and 8 to 10 points of Toughness Bonus.

Throw in a 30 magnitude Rebel Horde and a single, undodgeable hit will do, 3d10+3 Pen0 (lasguns), or 4d10+4 Pen2 (heavy stubbers). The average damage is 20 points for lasgun horde and 26 for stubber horde. That means 0 to 4 points will get through to marine from lasguns or 8 to 12 points from stubbers... Assuming no enemy rolls Righteous Fury. Great, that means that after two or three hits they are Heavily Wounded and First Aid doesn't help them much anymore. If the enemies target randomly they will die and marines get away scot free. If the enemies concentrate their fire on one marine at a time the marine will die.

With genestealers in play it gets better... a single hit from Lordsholm stealer will do 2d10+12, pen 5 with a very real chance of rending talons upping the penetration to 10. That means a single swipe from those claws will do, on the average, 23 points with pen of 5 or 10. Thats 8 to 15 points of damage getting through, PER HIT. Once again assuming no Righteous Fury is rolled. The genestealer hits you ONCE and you are heavily wounded right away. The only defence the Marines have is killing those stealers before ever getting to close combat distance. If the stealers get to hit, the blood WILL flow.

The combat in Deathwatch is very either-or. Either you kill the enemies so quickly that you get only a few points of damage which the Apothecary will heal easily. Or you DON'T kill them quickly enough and then you are probably Heavily Wounded, Critically Wounded or burning Fate Points... That means GM must balance things not with the number of foes, but also with distance, lines-of-sight and such things in mind. If you assume all fights happen in middle of open football field the combat becomes just silly.

 

 

NPCs don't benefit from Righteous Fury unless they have the Touched by the Fates trait. But yeah, it's one of my dislikes of the DW ruleset, that balance is very binary for a lot of things. Either you do nothing or you completely destroy an enemy in one hit. Either you walk though hails of small weapons fire without any effect, or you get destoyed by a 'stealer in one hit. Battles tend to be very short and brutal. I know it's very fluffy and all, but it can be annoying to balance and to know that you can always be one bad dice roll from full health to death. Thank the Emperor for Fate points. :)

 

Hi:

 

I asked this once to FFG.  The answer was, "do what you like."  If you think an NPC deserves RF, give it.  Also, usually "named" NPCs do have access to RF, they answered back (in more or less words).

 

 

HtH

L



#16 SilentTempest

SilentTempest

    Member

  • Members
  • 5 posts

Posted 11 October 2011 - 10:44 PM

Upsurprisingly enough, I was having the same problem as everyone else, that being that I could either do no damage, or kill the players outright in a single round. I took a fairly simple fix, which we're all quite happy with: I doubled the Marines' hitpoints. This now means that they can feel that pressure of slowly losing HP without dying instantly, and I can throw slightly nastier things at them. In order to balance things out a bit, I've also adjusted the hitpoints of many NPCs, as nailing an Ork Warboss in a round hardly has an epic feel to it. And surely that's why you'd play DW over the other 40K games, right? For the opportunity to do epic things...

Anyway, if you're struggling with the damage balance, I recommend trying the doubling of all hitpoints. I actually did it mid-session during my players' 3rd mission after we all decided things weren't working. Haven't looked back.



#17 Zamnil Blackaxe

Zamnil Blackaxe

    Member

  • Members
  • 76 posts

Posted 14 October 2011 - 09:50 PM

Haywire grenade traps, it's never failed me before.



#18 Darkmittens

Darkmittens

    Member

  • Members
  • 142 posts

Posted 21 October 2011 - 03:39 PM

fight fire with fire is my tactic, try running a rouge space marine kill team against them, throw in a seargent with a powerfist, maybe a dev with a big fancy gun of your choice (no melta gun thought thats cheating) then add a sniper and maybe a tactical brother to round out the party, devote the whole bunch to one chaos god and give them according upgrades (blight gernades for nurgle ect.) that should be a difficult encounter espicially if you give those space marines a horde of ex guard to help act as a meat shield, trust me that will work (it should at least cause lacerations). As long as that sergant gets close to one of the players there should be a little red mist left of them, for added fun make it a lightning claw......maybe 2...



#19 Adeptus-B

Adeptus-B

    Part-Time Super Villian

  • Members
  • 1,653 posts

Posted 22 October 2011 - 10:34 AM

Weapons with the "Warp Weapon" trait- they ignore armour. I don't recall seeing stats for Hrud fusils in DW, but they appear in both DH (Radical's Handbook) and RT (I'm not sure if it's the core Rulebook or Into The Storm). 2d10 damage Warp Weapons. Imagine what their equivelant of "heavy" weapons would do! I haven't used Hrud in DW yet, but I plan to at some point in the future: weak, squishy (but uber-stealthy) mercenary aliens, wielding absolutely terrifying weapons should make for an interesting change of pace...



#20 Zappiel

Zappiel

    Member

  • Members
  • 325 posts

Posted 23 October 2011 - 03:18 PM

Your players are lucky to have a GM like yerself...sneaky 'n treacherous....nice!  (ANd don't forget that the hrud seem to have an eery effect on local time and space, breaking such things down, accelerating decrepitude, all that niceness...your poor players!)






© 2013 Fantasy Flight Publishing, Inc. Fantasy Flight Games and the FFG logo are ® of Fantasy Flight Publishing, Inc.  All rights reserved.
Privacy Policy | Terms of Use | Contact | User Support | Rules Questions | Help | RSS