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The end of Deathwatch

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#1 Plushy



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Posted 08 October 2012 - 03:25 PM

 I've heard from multiple places that Deathwatch is the least popular of FFG's 40k games, both in terms of sales and player happiness.

We've got a monster book, three setting books, two books of player options, and a handful of adventures. Does anyone here think that the line is fit to end soon? I think that this upcoming Space Hulk book is showing that we're pretty close to the end. There just isn't much else to make, other than rules for every single little Chapter and more monster statblocks. The resources going into what is easily the most limited game could be spent elsewhere.

Perhaps the people I know are biased. What are your thoughts?

My apologies to anyone I offend; FFG staff, playtesters, and forum users alike. 


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#2 UncleArkie



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Posted 08 October 2012 - 10:18 PM

 Sounds more like gamestore "look at my inside of the industry" gossip (read BS). 

#3 herichimo



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Posted 08 October 2012 - 11:04 PM

Agree with above.

Its an RPG, just like many other RPGs. How often did you see AD&D in the 90s release new books? Player book, GM book (as opposed to DWs combined books, one of the problems I have with it honestly) with the rules, spells, and gear. Then 4 books for monsters, then what? They came out with adventure books very occasionally, developed an alternate universe (kinda like what DW is to DH) using the same rules, but for the most part left everything up to the players and GMs.

RPGs aren't board games. Don't start to think the only missions or adventures you can go on are those released by the company. Come up with your own stuff. With Guns, sorcery, psychic powers, vehicles, space, space ships, daemons, and a whole galaxy to explore there are billions of more adventure possibilities in Deathwatch than you could ever get in AD&D. If you are having trouble on the creative end go visit some older D&D forums, boards, or websites. I'm sure they'd have plenty of hints, tips, and guides for aspiring GMs.

#4 Decessor



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Posted 09 October 2012 - 02:24 AM

While I'm having a lot of fun coming up with Deathwatch missions in the Calixis Sector and Koronus Expanse, I certainly wouldn't object to a Deathwatch sourcebook on either of those areas.

And there is tonnes of scope for adventure books in the Jericho Reach. The Orks and Eldar have barely been touched on, being rarer in the area.

#5 The Russian

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Posted 09 October 2012 - 02:53 AM

Plus it has the second most books for it, if that can be any measure of its success (arguably). If it was the least popular, it would be bad business to have so many books for it. But that's just my take on it, Deathwatch is my favorite, and then Only War is a close enough second so far.

#6 vyrago



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Posted 09 October 2012 - 04:28 AM

 jeez…..silliness.  how does a space hulk adventure book 'show' that its near the end?  I think deathwatch is a fantastic product line, plenty of modular options for players and GMs to toy with.  Myself and my gaming LOVE the 40k RPG series, we always have a hard time deciding which one to play each week.  And seriously…how could you have a 40k RPG WITHOUT space marines?  



#7 H.B.M.C.


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Posted 09 October 2012 - 10:19 AM

Lathe Worlds gets announced.
Result: "Is the line over?" gets posted.

Void of Lost Souls gets announced:
Result: "Is the line over?" gets posted.

I guess with the recent colony book for RT and Tome of Blood being announced for BC those lines are over as well.


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#8 Adeptus-B


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Posted 09 October 2012 - 03:07 PM

I have no idea what FFG's sales numbers look like, but based on my (highly unscientific) observations of how long it takes books to sell out from local book and hobby stores, it's been my impression that Deathwatch is probably the second-most popular WH40KRP game (after Dark Heresy), with Rogue Trader  probably the least popular.

But there is still plenty of untapped potential for all of the lines; one big possibility that Decessor alluded to is putting out alternate settings for each of the games, a la D&D.

If any particular game were really in trouble, I would expect them to switch to cheaper paperback covers for new supplements, before giving up the ghost entirely…

#9 venkelos



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Posted 10 October 2012 - 10:20 AM

Deathwatch CAN have some limiting problems:

  • Female players you have MIGHT feel picked on for their seeming lack of character options
  • Your favorite Chapter might not have been touched on, leaving you feeling unappreciated
  • There are some things NO Space Marine is presented as being particularly good at
  • Every Space Marine is a Space Marine, so some diversity is lost (less conniving, dashing, or whatever other adjective fits characters)

But when it all comes down to it, I doubt the Space Marines game will fall off so easily. 40k fans are, for the most part, Space Marines fans. They either own a SM army, or they own a ___________ Army AND a Space Marine army. They have great diversity between the "best of the best" Ultramarines, the Space Wolves, the Blood Angels, Black Templars, and on and on. As an army, they are powerful, multicapable, and don't require a HUGE investment in money, sometimes, compared to say Eldar, or $50/piece tanks IG. At least a decent portion of the player base for DW have to also be 40k TT players; no one else really should have the scope of knowledge of the 40k-verse to know what's going on, and those players, those Space Marine fanboys and fangirls will long to play as Space Marines in RPG. When I first saw Dark Heresy years ago, I asked my buddy, who owned the book, what the Space Marines in it were like, only to learn that they weren't there. I was shocked, as I didn't think they'd make a 40k RPG that wasn't the Space Marines. So yeah, DW is probably going to survive as long as the franchise of line (RT, DH, RT, OW) does. If FFG has a game set to fail, Edge of the Empire can be it; DW lacks many of that game's already apparent failings.

The only thing I wish they would do is a better meshing of the games under the 40k umbrella. Using DH as a beta for RT and DW, then changing numerous things between them, and then giving us BC, which is so different I try not to even open it, sometimes, is annoying in a game that strives not to repeat entries. They should all flow together, so that Inquisitors, Guardsmen, Space Marines, and Lord-Captains can do the same stuff, even if it is at different power scales, but with so many massive differences, at present this is not really possible.

#10 borithan



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Posted 10 October 2012 - 11:07 PM

H.B.M.C. said:


Lathe Worlds gets announced.
Result: "Is the line over?" gets posted.

As far as I remember it most of the questions about the future of Dark Heresy came when Only War was turned into a seperate game, and there was no other announced supplements coming along for Dark Heresy. Even if it was in the works Lathe Worlds was only announced several weeks after Only War was publically cancelled (as a Dark Heresy supplement).


I am puzzled about the idea that Deathwatch is coming to an end though, as there is still announced stuff waiting to be released, and, as you say, they have just announced a new book. If one of the books had been canned, then maybe…

I do feel Deathwatch has more limitations to where it can expand than Dark Heresy and Rogue Trader. The game focusses on something so specific that there is less to cover. However, there still seems to be plenty to cover within that more limited scope.

#11 Alekzanter



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Posted 11 October 2012 - 05:25 PM

 There's the Mortis Thule supplement coming out, and…something about the Eastern Fringe/Dead Cabal? I was a bit disappointed in Honour The Chapter…group "photos" of all the Chapters. Bleh. That was some fine skimping, there. They could flesh out each one of the Salients as individual books? Something I would like to see would be technical data, like maps for Erioch and some of the Watch Stations, and tactical data, like warzone maps, topographical overviews of various Crusade engagements and where they are happening…or could happen. Don't get me wrong; I do A LOT of work for my game providing visual aids and handouts, but it would be nice if they did some of the work, too. A map showing the deck plans for a Strike Cruiser would be awesome! All wishful thinking. We might see a more detailed rendition of Samech, a sort of negative to the Lathe Worlds supplement. Orks are still here and there in the Reach, so…

I'm not really a fan of the three-part adventures. If they were three parts and had some consistency I'd be pleased, but jumping from one adversary to another to another in one campaign arc is like eating all the good chocolates out of a box first…and leaving nothing good for later. 

I just realized…Ciaphas Cain pretty much holds the fort down on his own (so to speak) against the same adversaries as the Deathwatch in the Reach: Tau, Tyranids, Orks, Necrons. The only thing he really hasn't wet his hands on is Chaos. Shame on you, Deathwatch. Hero of the Imperium Cain laughs at your silly Missions.

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