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Kill Team captured by Tau


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#1 LuciusMacharius

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Posted 08 June 2012 - 04:06 AM

 Hey everyone, I am currently running a campaign where the players have been killed while trying to assassinate three targets.  Essentially, they were tasked with sneaking into a Tau base and killing three targets.  They succeeded on killing two, but they all fell of a mountain and died.  Using a fate point, they are captured instead of killed.  I have another guy joining and he'll be leading a rescue mission.  Any ideas how I should run this?



#2 ItsUncertainWho

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Posted 08 June 2012 - 07:07 AM

LuciusMacharius said:

 Hey everyone, I am currently running a campaign where the players have been killed while trying to assassinate three targets.  Essentially, they were tasked with sneaking into a Tau base and killing three targets.  They succeeded on killing two, but they all fell of a mountain and died.  Using a fate point, they are captured instead of killed.  I have another guy joining and he'll be leading a rescue mission.  Any ideas how I should run this?

They should feel humiliated.

The Tau should have stripped them of all armor and weapons, run medical exams and tests, taken tissue samples, and possibly performed exploratory surgery. Having one of the players wake up strapped to a table with Tau surgeons digging in his innards should be interesting.

Did the Tau take the gene-seed?
What other secrets did the Tau uncover about Astartes physiology?
How will the Tau alter and adjust their technology after they reverse engineer the Space Marines armor and weapons?
How will the players avenge this disgraceful blight on their honor?



#3 Pyrus

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Posted 08 June 2012 - 07:50 AM

 Betcher's glands. Learn to love'em.  Though, they might need a *slight* damage buff just to reliably beat the toughness of a gnat.

:)



#4 crisaron

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Posted 08 June 2012 - 08:54 AM

The Tau may try to simply shoe them the greater good. Trying to bring each chapter member to a specific part of the location and show them what their chapter envision through them.

A blood angel may be brought to a air cast signing and piloting contest, the more aggressive ones shown fire warriors at their worth (fire warriror are very aggressive Tau cast) and told how they could shape them to be the ultimate weapon against evil, etc.

Then your new guy breaks in a frees up the Flesh Tearer/blood angel/other nasty chapter (they should all at this point roll for their worst chapter deviancy even wolf players feeling the call of lupus at it's worst)  who goes on a rampage and start to do the nasty thing they are know for under the eyes of the 3rd guy who horrified decides that Marines are abberation of humans and believes the truth as to be shared.

Even further they can't spot themself as the fire warrior also break loose of the Ethearal cast control and start the fraction war of the Tau again. Until the Librarian of the group spots a figure on the warp, a chaos psyker as found a way to break the vail and release a pure wave of evil.

They must challenge this new enemy but the Ethearel wants to know about the Warp… at this moment 1/3 of the Tau turn against the other Tau/

Now this guy is a true challenge, as demonic allies but the intervention of the marines is enough to break the spell, the Tau reunite under the marine and help them repulse the new invader as the Enslavers are making a push to break the veil.

if successful, the marines earn a great respect form the Fire Warrior, a doubt full eye from the Air Cast and a very scare Ethearel who begs to leave the planet with the entireTau forces to return to Tau space to spread the news of those Enslavers, something the Tau cannot fight and should they have managed to bring those back home by mistake the amount enslaver release makes should make any marines shudder…

this planet is an enslaver trap it can only lead to more break outs, the marines must decide the faith of the planet… bu this Ethereal also knows about the true nature of some chapters and maybe a bit of the marines themself….

 

Like it or don't…

 

 



#5 KommissarK

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Posted 08 June 2012 - 09:00 AM

The players should be grateful that Astartes have unnatural strength/toughness, unarmed master, a betcher's gland, that solo mode ability for a burst of strength, and that tau are exceptionally terrible at close combat. Tight space should mean plenty of melee.

Might I suggest having other prisoners at the facility, such that the players could actually facilitate a breakout (with assistance). Someone they could hand pulse rifles to and possibly have them hold off the enemy?

I doubt the Tau are too interested in marine physiology, they've had enough encounters with them that they've probably managed to capture a few marine bodies. I imagine they're far more interested in their designations. Black armour, silver arm/pauldron, unmatching chapter insignias. "Who are these guys? They don't match any of our records on Space Marines." The Tau probably have minimal information on the Deathwatch, and what little they have is probably expressly classified for Shas'el clearance or higher. They're probably quite interested just who the hell these guys are, and what their objective is. I would imagine they are holding the marines until a Tau "expert" on the Deathwatch can arrive for questioning (perhaps some high ranking fire caste or even an ethereal).

The only real hiccup I see is donning the power armour, which is really the only way to get that stuff out of there without a forklift.

I would say be nice and allow the players to have recovered fate points (whats left of them) and to have fully healed, so the players won't be too timid in trying what they can.

I would imagine the Tau would choose to use automated security as a means of lockdown rather than putting actual lives at risk. If an alarm sounds, I imagine they're more likely to close bulkheads than to pour fire warriors into a room. This is good, because it gives the players time to look for alternate escapes. If the facility wasn't built with holding marines in mind, they should be able to find some pathway that can take them away from the commotion of the cell block.

Also more devious: they let them escape, since they put a covert tracking device in their armour.



#6 LuciusMacharius

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Posted 08 June 2012 - 10:51 AM

 Oooo I like I like!  Especially the one where they insert tracking devices in their armour and the possible surgery conducted on them… :D  I am gonna enjoy this.



#7 Decessor

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Posted 10 June 2012 - 01:45 AM

I doubt the Tau fully understand marine physiology, especially since it'd be rare to capture marines alive. They likely only have theories on what the extra non-Guela standard organs actually do. So living specimens in relatively intact condition would be a boon to the Greater Good. Possibilities for turning them through propaganda, interrogation or vivisection. The Tau are inventive xenos filth after all.



#8 ranoncles

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Posted 11 June 2012 - 08:22 AM

Great idea.

I can see three movie-inspired plots with this setup.

1= Western
The space marines are captured and then held in a desert outpost. Escaping is relatively easy as there are not that many guards (but too many for them to just kill them all) but most of their weapons have been disabled/disassembled. Every marine can only grab one functioning weapon. Once out in the desert (think Apache country), the space marines will soon learn the Tau were the least of their troubles. Stalking them are their true enemies as they desperately make their way to an extraction point. Note: this is a classical western theme in which the (not too bad convicts) must survive the apaches and/or the searching US cavalry while trying to escape. You could use tyranids, feral orcs or chaos thingies as the apaches but I’d suggest Darl Eldar as they have the whole cruel, playing with your food and torture shtick the movie apaches also had.

2= The Great Escape
The space marines are held in Stalag Weltall ;-), surrounded by Tau troops and human civilian allies. They can’t fight their way out but perhaps they can escape? First, they need to find the means to successfully pass for humans once they are out (yes, they are non-humans but large abhumans are not unknown on this planet!). And if they can get the other inmates to escape as well, the confusion will be even bigger as the Tau must capture them all, perhaps allowing the space marines to escape. Cue cynical exploitation of humans after first promising them a good chance to escape! Once out, the space marines must evade the Tau while making their way to a neutral space port where a variety of aliens trade with the Tau and the space marines can try to sneak out or buy their passage out.

3= Star Wars
The space marines have been captured and their suits have been rigged with tracking devices. The Tau leader (or any other xenos race you want to use) hopes the space marines will escape and lead a trail to their hidden base so it can be destroyed. Their escape is facilitated but not made too easy so the space marines don’t smell a rat. Part of their equipment will be disassembled, shipped away, tested etc. so it all seems above board. Once at their hidden Deathwatch fortress, the GM can choose for 2 Star War plots: either the space marines must hold off a ground assault a la Hoth while their base is being evacuated (and priceless DW artifacts and data is loaded on transports) or go for an Episode IV finale: an uberpowerfull battlecruiser is approaching and the space marines must engage it in space marine snub fighters in the hope of destroying it before it can destroy their base.



#9 Charmander

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Posted 11 June 2012 - 11:36 AM

ranoncles said:

Once at their hidden Deathwatch fortress, the GM can choose for 2 Star War plots: either the space marines must hold off a ground assault a la Hoth while their base is being evacuated (and priceless DW artifacts and data is loaded on transports) or go for an Episode IV finale: an uberpowerfull battlecruiser is approaching and the space marines must engage it in space marine snub fighters in the hope of destroying it before it can destroy their base.

Can you imagine the shitstorm an Astartes would face for revealing the location of a Watch Fortress/Station to the Tau?  In addition to the whole 'got captured by xenos' bit.  Talk about deeds of disdain.

In large part though, I really do like all of the ideas here.

I would think the Tau's biggest interest in the Astartes would be strategic and intelligence.  The Tau have to have at some point dissected an Astartes, and the Deathwatch, with it's company size in the Reach must have been seen by some Tau that didn't die.  The presence and knowledge they're part of the Inquisition would likely be known- you can't have humans recognize it and not the Tau forces, the Tau would just have to ask a converted human what the symbol meant.

Now the inner workings would likely still be hidden, and so that, organization, troop movements, battle plans, safe harbors for ships, refueling stations, etc. are all pieces of information that would be of value to the Tau that they might try to extract.  And as crisaron suggests, they might see this as an opportunity to attempt indoctrination of them.



#10 Gaire

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Posted 11 June 2012 - 12:57 PM

 Well, for one thing, the Deathwatch is NOT going to take kindly to one of their Kill-Teams being captured. That would mean a loss of renown, probably, but more than that, they're going to strike the Tau like the fist of an angry God-Emperor. Multiple Kill-Teams, probably led or at least orchestrated by a Watch Captain, assuming they don't call up forces from a Chapter in the Reach to throw more firepower at the base. They're not going to let any Tau escape alive if they can help it. Now, what does your Kill-Team do when the rescue starts? Well, put them in cells with energy fields for doors. Attack starts, power grid gets damaged, the Battle Brothers get out and stage a riot or break-out or even sneak to their armor, assuming they can find it. Give them the chance to get their gear back, maybe by interrogating a Tau to find out where it is. They'll have to use their brains to get out of this one without burning fate, though. That base will go to a full, Defcon-One combat footing as soon as they realize the Imperials have arrived.



#11 ranoncles

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Posted 11 June 2012 - 06:44 PM

I would disagree on the assumption that humans would recognize or even be familiar with the Deathwatch. The fluff clearly suggests it is a highly secretive organization, only outdone by the Grey Knights. As such, only the very highest command levels of the crusade are aware of their existence. Average humans would only recognize iconic space marines of some unknown chapter.

Would the Tau know much about them? That would depend IMO on them ever having captured and broken a space marine with such knowledge (either a member of a kill-team or a regular space marine with knowledge of their existence).

Just to make this clear, gamers & politicians like to think military forces have a perfect understanding of an enemy’s orbat but in reality, this is often very sketchy. There is a famous example of a lone WWII American squad engaged in a firefight with ‘Waffen SS’ in late 1944 as the German troops are wearing something other than the regular German army uniforms and thus had to be the dreaded Waffen SS. Later the Americans find out they had been fighting Luftwaffe signal troops….

As to the reaction of kill-teams if one of them is lost, I think the best analogy we have is special forces circa WWII. Which means unlike a modern special forces team, there is no satellite uplink, constant communication with home base & the white house, and whatnot. Instead, a kill-team is dispatched and will hopefully ‘radio’ back in at some point. If they don’t, nobody knows what happened to them until they resurface or the enemy announces their capture or death.

And if it is capture, commando teams were not sent out to free them. Ever! How many assaults have there been on German prisons? Prison camps? Only in the most extreme circumstances is this ever done. Commando’s rely on stealth and especially striking where they are not expected so that overwhelming firepower can’t be brought to bear.

Would they be pissed that their own have been captured? Sure. But that comes with the job.
But mounting a rescue mission? That’s throwing good money after bad. First you have to know where the space marines are kept. And assume they will be very well guarded. Which would not include energy field doors without backup generators ;-)….

Not saying it can’t be done or never will be done. But space marines perform the most dangerous missions and die a lot. That is accepted.
 



#12 andrewm9

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Posted 12 June 2012 - 05:11 AM

They might not recognize the Deathwatch regalia but they shoudl recognize the symbol of the Inquisition. Its hard to fear soemthign you have never seen so they must know at least its symbol. They woudl probably have no clue why the space marine is wearing it, but they shoudl at least be able to associate it with the Inquisition.



#13 Algus

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Posted 13 June 2012 - 02:35 AM

Make sure to smack the survivors with a big renown penalty.  

Other than that, it could be a good plot hook.  I like the idea of there being other prisoners that your players could help coordinate a breakout with.  Especially if some of them are plants that have already been swayed by Tau propaganda :)

After the mission, I'd play up the fact that they have shamed themselves by being captured.  If they've got any rivals back at base really play up that point with the rival, it could lead to some good roleplaying and even plothooks for a mission of redemption. 

Remember that at full strength, Deathwatch only numbers around 200 men and while 200 space marines are probably more than enough to take over a small planet, large scale warfare isn't really their thing.   To do something like that, they'd have to recall a lot of Kill-Teams from a lot of different missions so even if they wanted to mount a rescue, they wouldn't necessarily have enough manpower unless they send in one or two agents by stealth. 

…in other words, I think you ought to have the player who is on the outside only be able to come in with limited gear: the Deathwatch will issue him scout armor and maybe a couple bolt pistols that he can try and smuggle into the other players.   Torn on whether they should be able to get the rest of their gear back.  It is Deathwatch so their equipment is provided to them.   If one or more of the players has some signature wargear, they might be able to retrieve that. 

A follow-up mission where they have to retrieve their power armor and chapter trappings could make for a good start to a mission of redempton



#14 Charmander

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Posted 13 June 2012 - 08:13 AM

ranoncles said:

I would disagree on the assumption that humans would recognize or even be familiar with the Deathwatch. The fluff clearly suggests it is a highly secretive organization, only outdone by the Grey Knights. As such, only the very highest command levels of the crusade are aware of their existence. Average humans would only recognize iconic space marines of some unknown chapter.

[/quote]

As Andrew says, yes, they may not know of the Deathwatch, but they will know that they are effectively Inquisitorial Space Marines as they wear a giant Inquisitorial I on one of their shoulders.

As for the Tau knowing about them- you have essentially a company sized deployment of Deathwatch in the Reach.  It's much easier to keep secret operations secret when there are a dozen of you, but when you have operations going on half the worlds in the Reach and involve all the races.  When was the last PC run adventure done where the team removed any and all trace of their existence?  Killed every witness, crushed every pict recorder, picked up every bolt shell, and cleaned up all the enemy corpses?  The Tau are going to know at least something about the DW, and would want to know more about what they're up to. 

ranoncles said:

And if it is capture, commando teams were not sent out to free them. Ever! How many assaults have there been on German prisons? Prison camps? Only in the most extreme circumstances is this ever done. Commando’s rely on stealth and especially striking where they are not expected so that overwhelming firepower can’t be brought to bear.

Would they be pissed that their own have been captured? Sure. But that comes with the job.
But mounting a rescue mission? That’s throwing good money after bad. First you have to know where the space marines are kept. And assume they will be very well guarded. Which would not include energy field doors without backup generators ;-)….

Not saying it can’t be done or never will be done. But space marines perform the most dangerous missions and die a lot. That is accepted.
 

It is, but looking at the lore and existing adventures, the Empire will go to great lengths to rescue a Deatwatch Marine, because unlike Imperial Guard troopers or US WWII special ops soldiers, a Deathwatch Marine is seen as worth the expense.  Look at Oblivion's Edge- the primary goal of the entire battlegroup arriving in system is to extract the DW Kill Team off the planet.  If it weren't for the Kill Team, they'd turn around and go, leaving the world to its fate.  They also have adventure seeds of doing things like going on a mission to recover a suit of Terminator Armor or a Dreadnaught.  It's not that far fetched to think that a strike team would be assmebled to get back a full Kill Team who's heads are filled with Intelligence, especially given that the way the Tau indoctrinate and extract info aren't totally understood.  At the very least, you'd want to ensure the KT is dead so they can't help the xenos, but the adventure ideas provided on the forum, IMO, are a more satisfying way to resolve the issue from a player perspective.



#15 KommissarK

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Posted 13 June 2012 - 09:53 AM

Charmander said:

 

 

It is, but looking at the lore and existing adventures, the Empire will go to great lengths to rescue a Deatwatch Marine, because unlike Imperial Guard troopers or US WWII special ops soldiers, a Deathwatch Marine is seen as worth the expense.  Look at Oblivion's Edge- the primary goal of the entire battlegroup arriving in system is to extract the DW Kill Team off the planet.  If it weren't for the Kill Team, they'd turn around and go, leaving the world to its fate.  They also have adventure seeds of doing things like going on a mission to recover a suit of Terminator Armor or a Dreadnaught.  It's not that far fetched to think that a strike team would be assmebled to get back a full Kill Team who's heads are filled with Intelligence, especially given that the way the Tau indoctrinate and extract info aren't totally understood.  At the very least, you'd want to ensure the KT is dead so they can't help the xenos, but the adventure ideas provided on the forum, IMO, are a more satisfying way to resolve the issue from a player perspective.

 
Its worth nothing that there also is a callidus assassin on the planet, another exceedingly valuable asset to the imperium.

I will say, as a GM, I would give the party a chance to break out on their own, and not immediately turn right around with the Imperium just busting them out. That would be embarassing for them and certainly result in a renown hit. Breaking out at least they could salvage their honour.

 

EDIT: Looks like I just made the quoting worse, sorry guys.



#16 Charmander

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Posted 13 June 2012 - 11:37 AM

KommissarK said:

I will say, as a GM, I would give the party a chance to break out on their own, and not immediately turn right around with the Imperium just busting them out. That would be embarassing for them and certainly result in a renown hit. Breaking out at least they could salvage their honour.

EDIT: Looks like I just made the quoting worse, sorry guys.

Did this fix it? :)

Though if you're going for the super humiliating route, deus ex rescue party would certainly fit the bill to for many players
 

If it didn't come across in my prior post, I totally agree with you though.  Even if a rescue party could happen, as a player it's not all that rewarding to have the GM come and fix your mistakes.  It makes for more fun and for more interesting characters if they have to fix it themselves.

 



#17 Charmander

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Posted 13 June 2012 - 11:48 AM

Algus said:

Remember that at full strength, Deathwatch only numbers around 200 men and while 200 space marines are probably more than enough to take over a small planet, large scale warfare isn't really their thing.  

I think the total DW numbers are a big mystery, and the math probably won't add up.  However, as of Achilus Assault they upped the old 'small group' numbers:

Since the arrival of the Achilus Crusade, the ranks of the Deathwatch have grown to accommodate an increase in their combat operations. Whereas for years each Watch Station was manned only by a handful of Battle-Brothers and a limited number of specialised vessels, now they have the ability to field entire companies should the need arise.

Remembering that a single company is 100 battle brothers, saying 'entire companies' seems to imply that they could easily field at least two companies plus support staff.  They also go into length in RoB to talk about all the amazing planet nuking ships they have that are 100% detection resistant.  Take of any of that what you will, I'm really just kind of arguing for arguments sake here, and don't really condone sending a company of DW marines in to save a kill team or to recover their armor.



#18 Guest_Not In Sample_*

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Posted 13 June 2012 - 01:10 PM

Charmander said:

However, as of Achilus Assault they upped the old 'small group' numbers:

That is just because their Marines are not as awesome as they need to be to play their role in the fluff.



#19 Gaire

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Posted 13 June 2012 - 02:34 PM

AluminiumWolf said: 

That is just because their Marines are not as awesome as they need to be to play their role in the fluff.

 

 

Or, y'know, it could be that with a war going on and there being multiple simultaneous missions in each Salient, there just need to be more Marines. Not even a Primarch can be in two places at once, Alpharius notwithstanding.



#20 Guest_Not In Sample_*

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Posted 13 June 2012 - 02:41 PM

 Neh. They have never gotten a handle on just how few Space Marines there are, and how awesome they need to be to justify their reputation.






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