So, let's forget for a minute that some of us (me, for instance) are desperately hoping that the general vehicles of the Imperial Guard make it into the first book, while several others are hoping they skip it; how might the book deal with human fragility vs big guns? What mechanics might be employed to save the PC Guardsman from meeting the messy fate his nameless colleagues next to him will? I've never played Deathwatch, which is the set that seems to most incorporate ground vehicles on a scale with infantry objectives. I wrote a thread on DW for how might one destroy a tank, without getting killed, but now I am just wondering what will save the PCs from a single shot of the looted Leman Russ battle cannon? Whether a party of Space Marines can take a Defiler or not, they aren't Guardsmen, so I am wondering how Humans might fare when the "best tank in the Guard" rolls in.
Looking at many of the vehicles, their weapons seem to be mostly infantry-scale, mounted on an armored vehicle, protecting the operator from return fire. A person could survive a hit from a multi-laser, maybe, or a lascannon, and certainly some of the pintle-bolter/stubbers, but even Space Marines, with their excessive durability, excellent armor, and such would be hard-pressed to survive a hit from a battle cannon, or heaven help them, a Basilisk's earthshaker. I don't think Fate recharges faster than Earthakers are loaded, so I'm not sure how much help that will be. My guess is that the Guardsmen are going to be around the power level of a Dark Heresy character, or maybe between that and a RT character, at best. This means that, as soon as the vehicle rolls into range, the player might need to dig into their folder for the third backup character that they made for the night.
So, some of this might just be me over-elaborating, but what are some ideas that might save the PCs, leaving the vehicles the efficient asset that they are, but not at the expense of players having to hide from the enemy's vehicles the whole encounter? I assume Size might help, with an Enormous vehicle trying to fire with a penalty at a regular sized person, and if the game gives the character the protection of another vehicle, or maybe a Magnitude, for being in a horde, they might be able to survive, but a small group, say a Vet squad, might not have any of these to fall back on. What are people's thoughts, and some other ideas, for surviving the gauntlet?
As an unrelated second, does Only War have an official release date, yet? I went to Amazon, and it said a date for preorder, but it also still lists it as a DH supplement, so some updating might not hurt. I know there's a Con involved, I think GenCon, but I don't know when that is.