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.