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Only War vs Deathwatch


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#1 The Laughing God

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Posted 04 April 2012 - 09:34 PM

Brotherhood? Duty? Sacrifice?

Military missions in the face of terrible foes?

That sounds a lot like Deathwatch.

Is there room for a variant ? Do we need that? Do we like that?

I see a lot more roleplaying opportunities when you play a Guardsman than when you play a stoic angel of death superwarrior, but stil , does this warrant a whole new game?

I am interested but more than a little surprised!

Curious to your thought!


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#2 H.B.M.C.

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Posted 04 April 2012 - 10:03 PM

This is where I'd give my "An RPG is what you make of it - you get out what you put in" speech. People dismissed Deathwatch when it came out as just being a game of shooting things, roll-playing over role-playing. And while you can certainly play it that way, that's not what the game is.

So let's not go jumping to conclusions and start labelling OW this early in the piece.

BYE


Matt Eustace. Contributing Author Credits: Church of the Damned, The Lathe Worlds, The Lathe Worlds - The Lost Dataslate, Only War Core Rulebook, Hammer of the Emperor, Shield of Humanity, Tome of Fate, Tome of Blood, Tome of Excess and Tome of Decay.

The views expressed in this post are my own. I do not speak for or on behalf of Fantasy Flight Games.


#3 The Laughing God

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Posted 04 April 2012 - 10:08 PM

It's not about labeling, it's about making educated guesses and sharing views.


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#4 Gurkhal

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Posted 04 April 2012 - 11:35 PM

The Laughing God said:

Brotherhood? Duty? Sacrifice?

Military missions in the face of terrible foes?

That sounds a lot like Deathwatch.

Is there room for a variant ? Do we need that? Do we like that?

I see a lot more roleplaying opportunities when you play a Guardsman than when you play a stoic angel of death superwarrior, but stil , does this warrant a whole new game?

I am interested but more than a little surprised!

Curious to your thought!

 

It remains to see what this is but it does look like a kind of Deathwatch-ish game. I agree that it came as a suprise for I sure as hell didn't see this one coming down.



#5 Decessor

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Posted 05 April 2012 - 02:29 AM

Deathwatch involves superhuman members of ancient warrior societies, effectively demi-gods involved in missions to shape galactic events.

The Imperial Guard are humans yet keep fighting the numerous threats of said galaxy.

I say there's enough difference there.



#6 Niqvah

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Posted 05 April 2012 - 02:33 AM

There would also be a big difference between the sort of missions you would dispatch Astartes on, and the sort of mission for which you would require an elite team of Imperial Guard.

For anything requiring stealth, infiltration or investigation (or simply not being a huge Marine), the Guard would be your choice, so I think OW offers a new playground compared to DW.

I'm also surprised by this development, but intrigued.



#7 The Laughing God

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Posted 05 April 2012 - 06:19 AM

Ofcourse there are differences between Imperial Guard and Space Marines. But the overall scope of OW and DW at the moment seem very much the same to me. I am curious how different they will turn out to be and if the differences warrant a whole new standalone game.

I can see the potential of Space Marine missions: they are elite troopers who secure bridges, hold positions, kill high-ranking enemies, and do other sorts of important battle-changing stuff.

Imperial Guard? They just die, in their droves. The difference they make is counted in the bodies, thousands of bodies, lasguns still red-hot, and I wonder how this will be reconciled with PC that perform individual heroic deeds and need to level up and become more powerful.


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#8 ItsUncertainWho

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Posted 05 April 2012 - 07:21 AM

I'm hopefull it will be along the lines of Gaunt's Ghosts crossed with the A-Team. 



#9 thesavage

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Posted 05 April 2012 - 07:29 AM

I'm thinking Battlefield: Bad Company 1 and 2. Without knowing anything more about Only War, if I end up running it, I will probably style it as such.



#10 Naraden

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Posted 05 April 2012 - 08:16 AM

The Laughing God said:

Ofcourse there are differences between Imperial Guard and Space Marines. But the overall scope of OW and DW at the moment seem very much the same to me. I am curious how different they will turn out to be and if the differences warrant a whole new standalone game.

I can see the potential of Space Marine missions: they are elite troopers who secure bridges, hold positions, kill high-ranking enemies, and do other sorts of important battle-changing stuff.

Imperial Guard? They just die, in their droves. The difference they make is counted in the bodies, thousands of bodies, lasguns still red-hot, and I wonder how this will be reconciled with PC that perform individual heroic deeds and need to level up and become more powerful.

 

There are many, many instances when that's not true. The people who secure the bridgeheads? Guardsmen. Hold the trenches at any cost? Guardsmen. Storm the breach? Guardsmen.

Space Marines aren't even present at the vast majority of warzones in the galaxy. They are too few and too valuable, and are under no authority but their own (no, not even the Inquisition, except when bound to service by oath ala Deathwatch to Ordo Xenos). Before the marines ever arrive, the Guard has been fighting, possibly for years. Most of the time, the marines aren't even needed to win the wars, which is why it's such a big deal when they do show up.

Personally, I'm looking forward to OW, because there's a lot of potential in being the regular schmuck surviving battlefield after battlefield. It's a much more desperate game when you're not encased in power armor and you aren't carrying a miniature weapon of mass destruction, and there's a lot they could do to make it very distinct from just Deathwatch-as-guardsmen, from tank crew rules to sudden upheavals in the chain of command ("What does your sergeant do when he's suddenly the most senior man in the company?") and plenty more.



#11 Cifer

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Posted 05 April 2012 - 12:02 PM

 I'd say the difference is the same as that between Rambo and Saving Private Ryan. Same topic, very different approach. I'd say there more overlap between DH and OW than DW and OW.



#12 jordiver2

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Posted 07 April 2012 - 03:32 AM

 As much as I am intrigued by DW's larger than life behemoth angels of death and the Emperor's will, whose hubris/humours/geneseed defects make inter-party conflict a potentially interesting almost mythical scene, I have a lot more empathy for the men in the trenches who perhaps are worried their old flame back home can't keep going alone with 2 children in the 41 millennium. Or sleeping at night to the sounds of Tau artillery and a knife being sharpened by your lower bunkmate whose bloodlust swells since he hasn't close enough to a kill for the whole campaign.

The relative immortality of Space Marines, immune to many poisons and diseases, spitting acid onto iron bars to burst out of jail, holding their breath and surviving a brief excursion in the black... it's all pretty cool and over the top. I love it, and the Horus Heresy books I've read so far were all about as incredible. But the true hero in my book is the man with the cajones to stand his ground in front of a corrupted angel of doom from the fallen chapters, unloading clip after clip into the traitor Marine as he ducks from one crumbled building to another, walls crashing down as a World Eater charges the lone man head on with a chainaxe in hand. Yeah, I think Joe Schmoe is dead meat, and I hope it isn't Hackmaster with percentile dice where you'd better come to every session with 3 characters already made, but I can feel for that guy on a level I just haven't been able to with the sons of Rogal Dorn, or the children of Horus himself.



#13 Psion

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Posted 07 April 2012 - 05:58 AM

The Laughing God said:

Ofcourse there are differences between Imperial Guard and Space Marines. But the overall scope of OW and DW at the moment seem very much the same to me. I am curious how different they will turn out to be and if the differences warrant a whole new standalone game.

I can see the potential of Space Marine missions: they are elite troopers who secure bridges, hold positions, kill high-ranking enemies, and do other sorts of important battle-changing stuff.

Imperial Guard? They just die, in their droves. The difference they make is counted in the bodies, thousands of bodies, lasguns still red-hot, and I wonder how this will be reconciled with PC that perform individual heroic deeds and need to level up and become more powerful.

There are many examples in the Guard lore where that is untrue and even in tabletop a IG player who plays his guard like that is almost never going to win.  As for roleplaying them, both games have different appeals...

Deathwatch:  Underneath all the fluff and padding of chapter lore is the appeal of being a superman.  And well, obviously that's quite an appeal for a good number of people otherwise we'd be referring to Deathwatch as "FFG's epic fail in the 40k line."  For me though, several years in free-form games with people who are the very definition of narcissism has at best killed any interest in the level of power Space Marines take for granted.  I imagine somewhere there are Space Marine stories and characters that are worth reading and would change my mind on the subject.  But I have yet to find them and in the face of series and authors that are much less of a gamble, I'm not entirely inclined to go looking either.

Only War: The fiction does not ignore the "drown the enemy in bodies" impression some players have, instead it toys with it.  Some commanders embody this mindset, other revile it.  Both produce results, both are at odds with each other.  Commissars are also played with, some are extremely antagonistic while others know the difference between caution and cowardness.  Underneath all this is the appeal of playing a normal man in a bad situation with something scary above (incompetant officers,) behind (the commissar,) and in front (do I even need to put anything here?)  The Guard's similarity to real world military organizations also means that all those war dramas and comedies?  MASH?  Saving Private Ryan?  The Guard has someone that fits the archetypes of all those characters, from the idealistic greenhorn to the supply scrounge and the grizzled veteran... 

 



#14 Zappiel

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Posted 07 April 2012 - 06:53 AM

along with Laughin' God, I am a bit gob-smacked that they decided to put out a game that has every appearance of being naught but  DW-lite...personally, i was expecting the Eldar rpg...just not sure....seems very counter-intuitive...



#15 kwinland

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Posted 07 April 2012 - 07:18 AM

Howdy,

 

I was expecting/hoping for an Eldar core game as well.  They are not playable as PCs right now, and that facet of 40k is an embarrassment of riches for background material for all of FFGs other core 40K games.  You can easily egt 8-10 supps for the Eldar book.

 

Playing the IG has some roleplaying and action possibilities, but military games in general have restrictions inherent in them (i.e. you have a chain of command, stealing/looting is frowned upon, exploration can be limited, etc).  Face it - Players in all roleplaying games like to kill stuff, not take orders, and steal things! :)

 

Deathwatch avoids these restrictions to some extent, as you are playing ridiculously over-powered characters (Gods of the Battlefield) and are willing to take some limitations in behaviour).

 

I would argue that Only War would have made a good supp for DH, not a separate core game.

 

Ken



#16 BrotherCaptainMagni

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Posted 07 April 2012 - 10:42 AM

I agree with the sentiment that while these two RPGs are simliar in over all feel (The FFG youtube video for deathwatch specifically mentions band of brothers.), they are actually potentially very different in feel. I'd say OW is probably closer to the actual band of brother's feel in that you're dealing with relatively normal people in a combat situation. The IG is Easy Company while DW is more like Seal Team Six or Green berets or whatever other Elite Unit you could mention. I agree that there are inherent limitations in the idea of military games, but a good GM and group can get around it.



#17 The Laughing God

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Posted 07 April 2012 - 11:08 AM

Naraden said:

There are many, many instances when that's not true. The people who secure the bridgeheads? Guardsmen. Hold the trenches at any cost? Guardsmen. Storm the breach? Guardsmen.

 

where's the roleplaying potential in that? holding a trench until you die?

Guardsmen are like tadpoles. A frog spawns thousands of little eggs that hatch tadpoles hoping that one or two reach maturity. Ofcourse you can work around this in a rpg, and make sure there is room for player character heroism and excellence, and make sure they level up from cannon fodder grunts to something more impressive ... but this then is a different picture from what the fluff of the W40K universe has been painting so far.


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#18 Dulahan

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Posted 07 April 2012 - 01:45 PM

The Laughing God said:

Naraden said:

 

There are many, many instances when that's not true. The people who secure the bridgeheads? Guardsmen. Hold the trenches at any cost? Guardsmen. Storm the breach? Guardsmen.

 

 

 

where's the roleplaying potential in that? holding a trench until you die?

Guardsmen are like tadpoles. A frog spawns thousands of little eggs that hatch tadpoles hoping that one or two reach maturity. Ofcourse you can work around this in a rpg, and make sure there is room for player character heroism and excellence, and make sure they level up from cannon fodder grunts to something more impressive ... but this then is a different picture from what the fluff of the W40K universe has been painting so far.

'

 

Meh, even looking at the Source Material that ain't the case anymore.  There's plenty of room for heroism of normal people.  Gaunt's Ghosts, Caiphas Cain.  Those are the sorts of books likely to be the inspiration here.  Yes, you're not even a blip on the radar of the Imperium as a whole beyond the strength of your institution, but that doesn't mean you're utterly screwed.  You can still rise to become a great hero, even if just on local levels.  There's so much room for a regimental game.  If anything, it's an -easier- game for a GM since there's some chain of command stuff to keep PCs from wandering too far off track, and lo and behold, suddenly it won't feel so railroady!



#19 Psion

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Posted 07 April 2012 - 07:14 PM

The Laughing God said:

where's the roleplaying potential in that? holding a trench until you die?

The same roleplaying potential you'd have with Space Marines I imagine.  And no one said it had to be until you die, just until you run out of bullets or badguys to shoot at.



#20 Darck Child

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Posted 08 April 2012 - 04:37 PM

Only War will allow for female characters.






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