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Playing/Surviving Deathwatch


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#1 Cho Kai

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Posted 22 May 2012 - 11:40 AM

Okay, maybe my group is unlucky and maybe I am extremely unlucky.  Perhaps the Emperor no longer supports the Kill Team as they have deviated too far from his will…

I have now played two sessions of Deathwatch, both at base points.  In those sessions, I burned through 4x Fate points before visiting the Emperor in untimely demise.  My geneseed was lost.  Over my illustrious career, I offended various machine spirits by destroying multiple helmets on the weapons of my enemies and by wrecking blessed weapons and vehicles given to my protection.  I have yet to get hit with a weapon strike that did not penetrate my Errant armor and deplete all my wounds… usually with significant damage to spare.

To my credit, I did kill one Tau soldier over the course of my illustrious career in the Deathwatch.

And so now I am down to rolling a new character.  With this being my first experience with Deathwatch I was a bit disillusioned.  I did not feel like a superhuman warrior bringing the might of the Imperium to bear.  Honestly, I felt more like an Imperial Guard… nameless and not expecting to survive 16 hours in the warzone.   So, I come forth requesting the advise of the masses.  Where should I go from here?

I am not very attached to running a Space Marine and would be willing to try to bring an Ascension DH or RT character into the mix.  As useless as I felt in combat as a SM, I can't think it would be a step backwards and maybe I would be effective at other things.  If I do try for combat effectiveness on a 2nd run, I would rather err on the side of cheese than relive that painful excuse for running in a tactical RPG.

Are there any suggestions or optomizations for something I could do to keep up with a game like this?



#2 professor_kylan

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Posted 22 May 2012 - 12:29 PM

Depending on what you're playing, defensive stance might help you out; it's -20 to hit, but you get two reactions. Might help occasionally, but unless these have just been insanely lucky rolls on the GM's part, it's sounding like he's not great at balancing combats.

 

Sorry, without more specifics as to what's going wrong, there's not really a lot that can be said.



#3 Guest_Not In Sample_*

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Posted 22 May 2012 - 01:10 PM

 If no one else is having the same problems, copy what the other players do and hope your luck evens out.

If everyone is suffering as well, tell your GM to stop being a prick.



#4 Captain Ventris

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Posted 22 May 2012 - 03:54 PM

Sounds like your GM probably shouldn't hit you with entire squads of 10 Fire Warriors out in the open at 1st Rank. Seriously, if you are taking that much damage, it's not you, it's him and what he's throwing at you. If everyone else is getting seriously battered, then the GM needs to balance the combats.



#5 Gurkhal

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Posted 22 May 2012 - 07:02 PM

I agree with the people saying that the GM is either throwing way too hard opposition at the Kill Team, or the Kill Team has no sense of tactics whatsoever. I'm more inclined to think its the former.

Speaking on the subject but slightly off-topic, how much do you think that a normal Kill Team of 3-5 characters can take on at rank 1? For example could they take on a Carnifex or a pair of Lictors? Or would it be to much?



#6 Gantz the slaughterer

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Posted 22 May 2012 - 09:11 PM

you use cover?

strategy?

remember to all to have fun playing!!!!



#7 bluntpencil2001

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Posted 23 May 2012 - 01:20 AM

Gurkhal said:

I agree with the people saying that the GM is either throwing way too hard opposition at the Kill Team, or the Kill Team has no sense of tactics whatsoever. I'm more inclined to think its the former.

Speaking on the subject but slightly off-topic, how much do you think that a normal Kill Team of 3-5 characters can take on at rank 1? For example could they take on a Carnifex or a pair of Lictors? Or would it be to much?

With some lucky rolls, we've taken out Hive Tyrants at Rank One.

Multiple Righteous Furies on a Pushed Smite it pretty good, especially when backed up with heavy weapons.

 

But yeah, it depends.



#8 Kshatriya

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Posted 23 May 2012 - 04:07 AM

Captain Ventris said:

 

10 Fire Warriors out in the open at 1st Rank.

 

 

This seriously worries you? Really? WOW. I mean..maybe if they're not a Horde, but that would just be an obnoxious combat in terms of length, since each one is probably going to be pasted with each SM's action.

Advice:

(1) USE YOUR GODDAMN SQUAD MODES. I cannot believe how many people forget this. Countering an ambush by Fire Warriors with a Furious Charge or Bolter Assault is going to ruin their day.

(2) USE YOUR GODDAMN SOLO MODES, even if it means spending Cohesion to do so in Squad Mode. People seem to forget this too! The Codex ones at Rank 1 are just…okay, but Chapter ones often have some really great effects.

(3) USE COVER. I can't say it any more plainly. Cover is extra armor.

(4) The best defense is a good offense. See also (1) and (2). Ambushes are a lot less nasty when you turn them against the ambusher. Many individual enemies can't stand up to an SM charge. Many Specialties have nasty tricks they can pull off to maximize damage, whether it's their Special Ability or Specialty-only Talents. Don't just hang back and shoot if melee is the place to be; don't charge in melee if you don't need to be.

(5) Don't be afraid to heal with Fate. You can still Burn it if you're going to die and it's not subject to the limitations on First Aid healing.

(6) Think tactically. Outmaneuver your opponents. Oftentimes (1) and (2) above will help greatly with this. If you can't think of a good idea of what to do, prompt your Gm for a Tactics test. It's what the Skill is there for after all: giving you an IC out to a problem you can't figure out how to overcome OOC.  Use your environment - knock walls and pillars over onto foes, shoot the floor out from under them, etc.

(7) Keep your Apothecary alive. Or, if you don't have one, push for someone to Elite Advance Medicae and take a Narthecium.

(8) If your back is against the wall, pull no punches. Throw out your nastiest attack combinations. If you're facing a very dangerous foe and think you're very probably going to die, fight like you're already dead. Tell your Librarian to start Pushing. Have your Devastator throw around his hardest-hitting, rarest bolt rounds. Get your meleeists into melee and stay there regardless. (1) and (2) above can make this a LOT more survivable than it actually looks at first glance.

(9) Know what your Talents do and use their powers as often as possible. Especially remember True Grit.

 

What do I throw at my players? Big Hordes, multiple elites (nid warriors, stealthsuits), mid-combat reinforcements, lictors hunting them throught a level and only attacking when the Team is occupied with other enemies or tasks…you name it. Nobody's died yet, though I have put people in crits a lot.

 

Ascension DH doesn't play well with anything but itself, and even then it's bad. Psykers are totally overpowered and will overshadow a Librarian effortlessly. The Vindicare is a glass cannon made of grease and hatred that probably will never get hit and will one-shot, oh, everything. DH skill acquisition makes things challenging for SMs trivially easy with a Throne Agent around (so much for difficult social/mental tests!). A PC Inquisitor raises some unpleasant superior/subordinate issues among players. Meh. I wouldn't mix the games, it's too much hassle especially for how bad Ascension is.



#9 Kshatriya

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Posted 23 May 2012 - 04:11 AM

Cho Kai said:

I have yet to get hit with a weapon strike that did not penetrate my Errant armor and deplete all my wounds… usually with significant damage to spare.

 

You do remember to subtract your Toughness Bonus from wounds that aren't mitigated by your armor, right? That should be something between 8 and 12 depending on your Toughness Bonus, with Unnatural Toughness in play.

I'm not seeing how you're constantly one-shot unless you or your GM is doing something wrong calculating damage.



#10 Captain Ventris

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Posted 23 May 2012 - 06:08 AM

I mean if the Space Marines are out in the open, not the Fire Warriors. Maybe it's just me, but I get some pretty sexy damage rolls from Fire Warriors. I'm using Errata stats, just to be clear. Give those guys enough distance and some cover, and they can be real trouble.



#11 bluntpencil2001

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Posted 24 May 2012 - 05:48 AM

Captain Ventris said:

I mean if the Space Marines are out in the open, not the Fire Warriors. Maybe it's just me, but I get some pretty sexy damage rolls from Fire Warriors. I'm using Errata stats, just to be clear. Give those guys enough distance and some cover, and they can be real trouble.

Even then, they should succumb to Suppressive Fire quite easily, some grenades and Squad Mode abilities to close the distance…

Or a single Librarian Pushing Smite. Boom!



#12 Captain Ventris

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Posted 24 May 2012 - 06:49 AM

I put them spread out evenly to reduce or negate the effect of explosives, and the distances I'm talking about are, like, a little more than 100 meters.

I enjoyed it.



#13 Kshatriya

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Posted 24 May 2012 - 01:48 PM

Were they individuals or small Hordes?



#14 bluntpencil2001

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Posted 24 May 2012 - 09:16 PM

Captain Ventris said:

I put them spread out evenly to reduce or negate the effect of explosives, and the distances I'm talking about are, like, a little more than 100 meters.

I enjoyed it.

 

Even at over 100metres, with Furious Charge, Squad Advance, and maybe a jump pack, you can close the distance quickly, especially if someone is providing Suppressive Fire.

Add in Smoke Grenades to make yourself harder to hit, and you can end the trouble in no time. Hell, hunkering down and just shooting back might even be enough, with some Squad Mode abilities, you could have all fired multiple times before they got a chance to shoot.

Also: Librarians win. 



#15 Captain Ventris

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Posted 26 May 2012 - 03:52 AM

My players were on the edge of a forest and so had no cover themselves. I freely admit to setting the thing up as disadvantageous as a first-impression thing for the Tau. I alternate between Feel-good encounters ("We are SO awesome") and making an encounter that I know will make them sweat ("What are we gonna do, man, what are we gonna DO!?"). It wasn't actually a long encounter, they crossed the distance quickly, but I got a couple nasty wounds in and caused a disproportionate amount of grief, which they found somewhat embarrassing given that their opponents were tiny space Communists.

And yeah, they were presumptuous enough to just start running at them without squad mode abilities or anything. Don't underestimate the tiny space Communists. They learned fast, so there's that.



#16 Pope Innocent

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Posted 01 June 2012 - 11:20 PM

Cho Kai said:

Are there any suggestions or optomizations for something I could do to keep up with a game like this?

Cho Kai, I'll help.

First, you need to get off the front line. Melee characters die quick, Devastators live long and they start with one of the best (if not the best) weapon, the Heavy Bolter. Make sure you roll a high BS and Toughness.

Second, we need to boost your Toughness/Armour. That'll help you live longer. How to do that? Be an Iron Hand (a Space Marine Chapter in the book First Founding). They get +5 Toughness to start (and +5 BS), and you can take the Flesh is Weak three times for 1500xp, giving you +3AP.

So, you might roll 45 BS and increase it to 50, 45 Toughness and increase that to 50 (giving you a Toughness Bonus of 10), and AP of 13 to the body, and 11 everywhere else. That would cost… 2200 exp, which is more than you're supposed to start with, but you can figure that out.

What next? Cover. Hide behind good cover and you can get up to 32 extra AP (see page 247 in the Core Rulebook). So if you're hit by 60 points of damage you can take away 32 for cover, 13 for armour (we'll assume it hit your body), and 10 for Toughness bonus, leaving you with a total of 5 wounds.



#17 Morangias

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Posted 02 June 2012 - 05:37 AM

The Emperor Protects, but cover protects better.

Take time studying all the actions available in combat, and use them to the best of your understanding. Pay special attention to Suppressive Fire, Overwatch, Defensive Stance, moving from cover to cover (don't remember the name).

As a Deathwatch Marine, you have Forbidden Lore: Xenos for free. This doesn't let you assume you know precise stats of your enemies, but it does let you assume you know the general tactics against most aliens. This should include such info as "X can be assumed to be fearless, so don't waste time trying to suppress them" or "Y dodges like a bunny on cocaine, don't bother with grenades or sniper fire" etc. Use to your advantage, and if you know the type of enemy involved in the mission, devote at least part of your Requisition to appropriate countermeasures.

If you have a Librarian in your team, convince him to invest in Force Dome. His gameplay experience will suck, but your GM will cry at how little his shooting enemies can do to your group.


There is no truth in flesh, only betrayal.

There is no strenght in flesh, only weakness.
There is no constancy in flesh, only decay.
There is no certainty in flesh but death.


#18 Decessor

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Posted 05 June 2012 - 12:40 AM

On the opposite end of the scale, charging into melee can be a safer option. Most enemies aren't going to keep shooting into hordes of their own side, and if they do it's at a penalty. And most hordes that are good at shooting are poorer at melee and can get fewer attacks. Compare a horde with autoguns to a horde with even monoswords and swift attack (the former are more common btw).

That said, assault marines need to pick their moments and make use of speed and/or cover as the situation requires. Standing around in the open is suicidally dangerous. Running, charging, sneaking, shooting from behind cover, these are all better options.



#19 Captain Ventris

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Posted 05 June 2012 - 04:31 AM

Morangias said:

The Emperor Protects, but cover protects better.

"The Emperor Protects, Brother. NO, WAIT! Don't leave cover, He can't protect you if you get out from behind His wall!"



#20 Morangias

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Posted 05 June 2012 - 04:52 AM

Decessor said:

On the opposite end of the scale, charging into melee can be a safer option. Most enemies aren't going to keep shooting into hordes of their own side, and if they do it's at a penalty. And most hordes that are good at shooting are poorer at melee and can get fewer attacks. Compare a horde with autoguns to a horde with even monoswords and swift attack (the former are more common btw).

That said, assault marines need to pick their moments and make use of speed and/or cover as the situation requires. Standing around in the open is suicidally dangerous. Running, charging, sneaking, shooting from behind cover, these are all better options.

That's very true. Most notable example would be the Tau, who rain destruction and **** from a distance, but fight with a ferocity of neutered, declawed kittens in melee.

Knowing your enemies and abusing their weak spots is part and parcel of playing Deathwatch. You might be a superhero compared to the normal lot of humankind.


There is no truth in flesh, only betrayal.

There is no strenght in flesh, only weakness.
There is no constancy in flesh, only decay.
There is no certainty in flesh but death.





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