I have no idea how Only War will play; no idea what types of player objectives there’ll be, or what style of play will be encouraged... but one can still guess that small unit missions will probably be the name of the game. With this in mind, does anyone feel like joining in and working on a D100 random mission generator?
I’ll get the ball rolling…
1. Hearts and Minds. The players are ordered to engage in a “hearts and minds” meeting with the leader of a local community on a war world. The community is not expressly hostile to the Imperium, but is ignorant of its ways, and the players are expected to meet with its leader and secure his community’s agreement to assist in the war effort. How will the players react to the weird and/or sinister/heretical local customs they observe?
2. Special Duties. The players are seconded to a Commissariat special duties unit, and tasked with the observation and capture of a regimental officer suspected of treason. To complicate matters, the officer is a decorated hero, and the Commissar they are working under is a known paranoiac…
3. Never meet your Heroes… The players are assigned to act as equerries to an Astartes officer. They rapidly discover that he is a cruel and vicious individual, with total disdain for their “human” martial abilities. Worse, he cares nothing for their personal safety and expects them to keep up with him in the execution of his duties. How often will the players allow themselves to be placed in harm’s way for their superhuman master?
4. Parlay. The players are selected to communicate terms to their foes during a brief parlay. Naturally, the Imperium’s terms are unconditional surrender. However, the player’s enemy offers honorable and beneficial alternative terms that would allow both parties to recover their wounded and dead. How do the player’s react when faced with evidence that not all of the Imperium’s foes are monsters?
5. Decimation. After being separated from their regiment to conduct other duties, the players are ordered to act as a firing squad. To their horror, they discover that they are expected to participate in a literal decimation of their own Regiment, which is being punished for cowardice. They are expected to shoot every tenth man in the entire regiment, an act which will take all day and involve the death of hundreds at their hands. How do the players react?
6. Bodyguards. The players are required to act as drivers and bodyguards to a senior Guard officer of the General Staff. After a dull night escorting him from social event to social event hundreds of miles safely behind Imperial lines, the players find him sobbing over the corpse of a local joygirl, clearly dead by his hand. How do they deal with this situation if he orders them to cover it up?
7. The vanished. After working directly under the command of the Ordo Malleus as part of an indentured Inquisitorial detachment, and having successfully repelled a daemonic incursion, the players discover that the members of their regiment are disappearing one by one. What is going on? Have the daemons returned, or is the Inquisition covering up its tracks?
8. The prisoner. The players are tasked with transporting a xenos prisoner through enemy lines to meet with an Ordo Xenos interrogations squad. The xenos is fiendishly cunning, and resorts to every kind of devious ruse to ensure its escape.
9. The runners. Comms are down. Someone has to get this message back to HQ, at the double! We need runners! And an escort for the runners, naturally.
10. Medic! The players must assist a medic in the execution of his duties. However, they discover that the medic is in fact in thrall to a warp cult, and is secretly killing all those in his charge.
11. Forgers. Another one of HQ’s crazy schemes… Flood the enemy lines with counterfeit currency, crippling their economy. The players must infiltrate the enemy lines and give away the equivalent of billions of thrones to criminal elements. Will they resist the temptation to spend on their own behalf on the way?
12. IPD. During a particularly vicious campaign, the players encounter a captured Imperial Guard sanctioned psyker who has been abandoned by the retreating enemy. He has been tortured and left by the roadside attached to an explosive device that will go off if he is moved. His misery, focused through his psychic abilities, is causing waves of disorientation and sickness among the advancing troops. He has in effect been turned into an improvised psychic device. How do the players deal with the situation?
13. Foragers. The players are ordered to forage for supplies by their commanding officer. The only place where they might be found is on a nearby farmstead: however, this means stealing the last grain supplies from starving local civilians. How do the players deal with this dilemma?
14. Sniper duel. The players are ordered to reconnoiter a nearby human village. During the course of doing so, NPC members of their platoon are killed by sniper fire. The players must engage in a sniper duel with a skilled and ruthless opponent.
15. Guard duty. The players, recovering from a vicious military campaign, are given some peaceful guard duty by their superiors. Sadly, they happen to be on duty when the enemy decides to send a special forces group to attack their position by night.
16. Beachhead I. The players are the first off their Tetrarch Heavy Lander, and must push through miles of fortifications and barbed wire to capture the first of many command bunkers.
17. Beachhead II. The players are minding their own business, manning their part of the trench line, when the enemy lands a massive invasion force within 200 yards of their position, using heavy landers. Can the players repel the invasion?
18. The magnificent seven. The players are part of a scouting force sent to reconnoiter a nearby civilian settlement. During the course of their mission, the enemy attack. The players must inspire the civilians to rise up and defend their homes against the enemy force, using whatever weapons are to hand.
19. Commando I. The enemy occupy a position guarded by a powerful void shield generator. The players must travel to the position in civilian garb, evade enemy patrols and sabotage the generator, timing their attack precisely with a major offensive.
20. Commando II. The enemy orbit the planet in a vast spacecraft. The Imperium cannot defeat this vessel through main force with the meager assets available locally. So they opt to send in a suicide mission, consisting of the players, to infiltrate the ship and destroy it from the inside.
21. Mincemeat. The players are ordered to carry a dead body, which wears the uniform of a Guard colonel of intelligence, and which carries forged papers, to within a safe distance of the enemy lines and then leave it at the manufactured site of a speeder accident.
22. The Resistance. The players are part of a defeated army, on a world captured by the enemy. They must go into hiding, following Imperial Guard Standard Operating Procedure: cause as much damage to the enemy as possible, even if it means their own deaths. They must live a life of treachery and deceit, moving from safe house to safe house, never trusting anyone, while sabotaging the occupying army’s materiel and personnel.
23. The Ace of Traitors. During the course of a successful ongoing planetary invasion that is being prosecuted by a Guard force that includes their regiment, the players become aware that one of the leading figures in the opposing regime has fled into hiding in a major metropolitan area. The players are tasked with capturing him alive and delivering him for interrogation.
24. WPD. The players are tasked with searching the blasted ruins of a civilisation for evidence that it once possessed weapons of planetary destruction, as this will prove crucial in rebutting claims that the Lord Militant who ordered an orbital bombardment of its cities was justified in his actions. The players must travel through the pitiful remnants of a once great empire, and face the enmity and hatred of its crushed and embittered people.
25. Ratling. The players are tasked with assassinating an important enemy officer. They are advised that Imperial Guard Intelligence has become aware that he will be present at a certain location at a certain time, though the players will not be able to approach within a mile of his position, and he will be in a staff car travelling at speed. They are told that only one person can make the shot: legendary Ratling sniper “Plum” McDuff. The players must escort McDuff – an irritating alcoholic loudmouth with kleptomaniacal tendencies – to the appointed place at the appointed time, protecting him from the enemy and resisting the urge to strangle him.