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#1 TimmyTheNerd

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Posted 23 November 2012 - 09:30 PM

I currently GM for a Pathfinder group and recently I discovered that the group are into the Dawn of War game series, which takes place in the Warhammer 40,000 universe. After reading some basic information on the RPGs available a getting a taste for the focus of each one, Dark Heresy for Inquisition, Rogue Trader for Explorers/Traders, Black Crusader for Chaos and Only War for Imperial, I decided on Deathwatch as all four of them like the look of Space Marines and those are the minis I have most of, I enjoy using minis for RPGs as visual aid. The current minis I have are a squad of Dark Angels Veterans, a Scout Squad, the Dark Vegeance Limited Edition set and the Assault on Black Reach set. Anyway, now onto my questions.

1. Do I need any other books to play besides the core rules? Most RPGs require at least two, a Core Rulebook and a Bestiary, and DnD requires three, Player's Handbook, Dungeon Master Guide and Monster guide. So I'm just wondering if I'll need to buy anything else besides the core rules.

2. Can the rules be adapted for play outside of the Deathwatch? Pretty self explanatory.

3. What are the 'classes' or character advancement? Do players start off as Scouts and work their way up or do they choose at the beginning, like if they want to be a Chaplain, Librarian or Terminator?

4. How well do the rules adapt to the use of minis?

5. If I only need the Core Rules, how many enemies are given in the Core Rules?

6. About how easy is the game to pick up and learn? I've managed to teach my group Pathfinder over the course of three sessions, will Deathwatch take longer, shorter or is this about right?

7. Going to those who bought it: Is the Collector's Edition satisfying? I understand that there's only 2,000 copies, but sometimes limited quantity doesn't necessarily mean it's good quality.



#2 AlphariusOmegon7

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Posted 23 November 2012 - 10:32 PM

TimmyTheNerd said:

I currently GM for a Pathfinder group and recently I discovered that the group are into the Dawn of War game series, which takes place in the Warhammer 40,000 universe. After reading some basic information on the RPGs available a getting a taste for the focus of each one, Dark Heresy for Inquisition, Rogue Trader for Explorers/Traders, Black Crusader for Chaos and Only War for Imperial, I decided on Deathwatch as all four of them like the look of Space Marines and those are the minis I have most of, I enjoy using minis for RPGs as visual aid. The current minis I have are a squad of Dark Angels Veterans, a Scout Squad, the Dark Vegeance Limited Edition set and the Assault on Black Reach set. Anyway, now onto my questions.

1. Do I need any other books to play besides the core rules? Most RPGs require at least two, a Core Rulebook and a Bestiary, and DnD requires three, Player's Handbook, Dungeon Master Guide and Monster guide. So I'm just wondering if I'll need to buy anything else besides the core rules.

2. Can the rules be adapted for play outside of the Deathwatch? Pretty self explanatory.

3. What are the 'classes' or character advancement? Do players start off as Scouts and work their way up or do they choose at the beginning, like if they want to be a Chaplain, Librarian or Terminator?

4. How well do the rules adapt to the use of minis?

5. If I only need the Core Rules, how many enemies are given in the Core Rules?

6. About how easy is the game to pick up and learn? I've managed to teach my group Pathfinder over the course of three sessions, will Deathwatch take longer, shorter or is this about right?

7. Going to those who bought it: Is the Collector's Edition satisfying? I understand that there's only 2,000 copies, but sometimes limited quantity doesn't necessarily mean it's good quality.

Welcome to Deathwatch!  I'll do my best to answer your questions.  

1. You don't NEED any other books, but I'd recommend getting (at the very least) Rites of Battle and Mark of the Xenos.  Mark of the Xenos is a bestiary with loads more bad guy stats, and some nice Horde combat rules, and Rites of Battle introduces all sorts of neat advancements for everyone involved.  

2. Yes.  It takes some effort though, and you'll have to house-rule a lot of it, but yes.  

3. Classes are 'Specialities': Apothecary (Close-combat Medic), Assault Marine (Close Combat Badass), Devastator (Heavy Weapons and Fire Support), Librarian (Magic, Research, and Close-combat), Tactical Marine (All Rounder and Leader), and Techmarine (Tech and some other nifty tech perks).  These determine not only the character's in combat behaviour but also their starting equipment, and given how equipment in Deathwatch works, that's really important.  The way Deathwatch works is that you are elite specialists from your original chapters - your scout years are normally long behind you.  Then you are seconded to the Deathwatch to act in a given role that you're particularly good at (hence speciality).  Rites of Battle, Honour the Chapter and First Founding give Advanced Specialities (like First Company Veteran, Dreadnought, and Epistolary) that can be purchased at higher Ranks with experience points.  These represent a 'promotion' of sorts, and give access to a new advance table, a new set of equipment, and some new skills, talents, and special abilities.  

4. Marvellously.  You'll have to make sure the minis match the characters, but if you use minis then keeping track of combat is a doddle.  

5. About 12 badguys, 4 for each main enemy faction in the Jericho Reach, are listed.  This (obviously) ain't much.  For that reason, Mark of the Xenos is a good purchase, adding a lot more badguys to each faction (though predominately to Chaos which makes the name a little weird…).  If you want more aliens, buy Rogue Trader's Koronus Bestiary - not only does it contain full(ish) Ork and Eldar rules, it also contains rules for making your own alien races. 

6. The basics are very easy, but some subtleties in the rules take a long time to pick up.  While players might learn the core mechanics (d100, roll, bonuses, penalties, etc.) in about half a session, the intricacies of Talent use, particular Skill uses, etc. will probably elude them for a while, especially if they don't have their own copies of the book.  I actually typed out all of the Skills, Talents and Traits for my players to use as references.  This took a long time.  

7. No idea, looks cool though.  

One last thing - use the errata.  It's free, downloadable from this site, and very helpful.  

Best of luck.  



#3 Adeptus-B

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Posted 24 November 2012 - 09:31 AM

I second all of AlphariusOmegon7's comments. I'll just add a few notes on the use of miniatures:

For indoor combats (or other situations where the battlefield is artifically constrained), the recommended scale of 1" = 1 meter is fine, but for outdoor combat I've found that the standard scale makes it too easy for fights to spill off the table. Thus, for outdoor fight scenes I usually go with .5" = 1 meter, or even 1cm = 1 meter for long range firefights.

Also, Deathwatch uses a game mechanic called 'Hordes' to make low-powered opponents dangerous in large numbers. Basically, a Horde is a group of similar adversaries grouped togeather as a single, powerful combatant. Instead of Wounds, Hordes have a characteristic called Magnitude that represents their combat effectiveness, and successfully damaging a Horde reduces it's Magnitude. Anyway, what I've found works best for representing Hordes with minis is to cut out a cardboard disc for each Horde (about the size of a cd) and set a number of minis on it equal to the '10s'-digit of the Horde's Magnitude, taking away figures as needed as the Horde takes damage. That makes Hordes easier to move around on the table, and also lets the players estimate a Horde's Magnitude.



#4 herichimo

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Posted 26 November 2012 - 02:05 PM

Alpharius has it pretty much down pat, great answers.

I'll just add a few myself:

3. The apothecary isn't really focused on melee or ranged. They have medicae training and can more readily acquire knowledge skills since they should have a decent intelligence at start and either do not have access to or have to purchase a lot of combat skills to fulfill their role.

5. As alpharius said, but you can always tweak some of those enemies for your purposes, say give a few psy powers to a chaos marine to make him a sorceror, throw in a stealth suit with a fusion blaster (melta), but I'd say the mark of xenos book is a great expansion to the core. Lots more infor on Tau, Nids, non-associated xenos, and chaos/daemon enemies.

6. Make sure you read the rules. There are a ton of abilities and actions everyone can use, and many you can only use with certain talents. Many common issues have already been answered in the rules question section, but if you actually read all the rules, and keep one eye on the intent of the developers (or how they meant for the game to be played, don't try to break or 'game' it), you shouldn't have too much problems.






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