So I decided to make it so that players "create" their own class, by choosing 6 aptitudes of their choice and picking 3 skills (In addition to Linguistics Low Gothic) in which they have double aptitude in as starting skills, as well as giving more exp to spend instead of starting talents. (In addition to weapon training las & low tech)
There is nothing wrong with doing this, after all it is your game.
The problem is, I didn't give them any starting equipment because I don't really know how to work a starting equipment system or how to set it up. I' m not sure how to.
From what I've skimmed through, seems that by building the Player's Regiment determins what their standard equipment will be. Anything different or above and beyond this the characters the characters maybe given based on the mission or by going to the Department of Munitorum - maybe the Black Market but don't let the Commissariat find out.
The problem is that I only have 2 players as well, and in their first fight I threw them against 5 traitor guardsmen, both players nearly died with 1 heavily damaged, 1 a wound away from heavily damaged and a comrade who took two hits. Now I do think that they are in a dire need of a buff, but I'm not sure how to.
What was the context, I mean what mission were they on? What role do they play in their unit? Are they Scouts? Snipers? Heavy Weapon Team?
Did the Players have the chance to ambush the Traitor Guardsmen?
Was it a "random" encounter or the main objective?
If you are not strictly sticking by the rule are you giving the enemy full health or are you playing fast and lose and letting the Players kill the enemy with but a simple success?
What style of game are you going for gritty or Michael Bay/Hollywood?
Fixing is all dependant on the questions I posed above.
If they are part of of a Squad, then you have four more troopers to add. The second half of the fire team could be 4 equal npcs or 2 npcs with comrades.
Maybe make one of the npcs a medic, after all you have wounded Players and npcs …
I think it has been mention but I'll suggest it again, grendes.
Their standard issues are guard flak, a combat shotgun and the Precision Handcannon from the Inquisitor's Handbook (Dark Heresy).
Are they designed for fighting in Hives? Come from a Hive World? Did you spend time builing up their Regiment?
I'm not sure how to balance it so that they can take care of themselves against a few goons, but still not making everything a pushover.
I could have sworn that in the introduction of Only War that there will be a higher attrituon rate for character deaths. It's all about war and combat, ultimately. There are and will be golden opportunities to role-play. Combat is messy and often unfair.
Descriptions painting details that the Player's can take advantage of (cover, bodies,etc…).
Let's take your example:
They Players could be seperated from the rest of their squad.
They could be stuck behind enemy lines from when the line shifted an hour ago.
They can hear the sounds of combat all around, and the awefull chanting from the traitor guard.
Maybe they stumbled on to a position that had just recently seen combat and dead from both sides litter the ground. Suddenly from across the other side they see five filthy rag tag troopers - terribly scarred, two are carrying close combat weapons, one a standard with a symbol dedicated to ruinous powers and the last with a lasgun. For a moment both sides are surprised. The silence is broken when they five traitors charge the Players, what do they do? A side note: when you say 5 traitor guardsment are you talking about 5 seperate targets or 1 specialist and 2 targets with 2 companions?
Or maybe it could have gone down differently:
They stumble onto the killzone where they see most of their regement slaughterd in an open clearing. maybe to Players go to investigate, maybe you give them one when one the bodies is still alive and could be heard whispering a prayer to the Emperor and needs to be rescued. The first tip off would be that these men were cut down out in the open. You, the Game Master/Storyteller make it clear that there are no enemy bodies in sight. Should the Players go to help out and there 5 traitor guard waiting in ambush and it will get ugly fast…
Personally I find great ideas from books and movie that I use for my games. From these inspirations I use them to fill the gaps when the Players go outside from what I have written up
An after thought, that last scenario where the Players are about to walk into an ambush, should they live through the enemy's opening salvo. or you are looking to give the Players an out after realising to late that they are in over their heads - you could have it that there is a vox box amongst the dead and the Players can here voice asking again for the cordinates for the Valkeries to land/strafe…