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Chastity

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  1. I agree that the arbitrary restriction which says that Astartes weapons randomly stop functioning for non-Astartes is silly, although I don't think it's unreasonable for there to be a penalty associated with using them if you aren't in Power Armour, or don't have Unnatural Strength. As for the stuff about Toughness - here you're arguing for a complete rewrite of the way the game handles damage. You *could* have just done it with more Wounds and that probably would have been easier in the long run, but Toughness is a recurring problem with the system that goes well beyond Marines.
  2. By this logic the expanded Infamy and Minions rules make part of /Tome of Excess/ errata that costs money. The new Psychic Powers make /Tome of Fate/ an errata that costs money. Hell since Legacy Weapons are mentioned in the core rules and then not expanded upon you could argue that those rules make /Tome of Blood/ an errata that costs money.
  3. I'm inclined to agree that this is mostly a matter of taste, although I wouldn't necessarily categorise it as "fantasy vs grimdark" (to me a world in which space marines are superhuman killing machines as far removed from the people the purportedly protect as the daemons and xenos they supposedly protect them from is far *more* grimdark than one in which marines are just well trained guys in good armour). I'd categorise the disagreement as being about game design more than anything else. I feel that the FFG 40K RPGs are intentionally exception-heavy. Most things have special rules and extra unique twiddles - heck the Inquisitor's Handbook for the old Dark Heresy had rules for *dozens* of Bolter variants - so I'm perfectly happy for there to be multiple varieties of Boltgun in the game, just like I'm happy for there to be game-mechanical representation of Space Marine resistance to injury (in the shape of unnatural toughness) and game mechanical ways to get around it (in the shape of Felling). If I wanted a game where everything was mechanically identical, I'd be playing FATE.
  4. Ah, I was expecting it to update when you switched Archetypes (like it does when you go from Marine to non-marine) that makes a lot more sense.
  5. I think this highlights quite an important issue with the "sufficiently creative players" argument. Often "player creativity" is a euphemism for "GM fiat". Ultimately, any plan that isn't mediated through the game mechanics will only work if the GM wants it to.
  6. Hard to tell because of randomness, but are the Characteristic Bonuses showing up right? I've tried a few and, for example, it seems possible for an Apostate to roll a Fellowship in the mid twenties, which I'm pretty sure is impossible under RAW, similarly plague marines don't seem to get -10 Agility or +10 Toughness. Are you supposed to add these manually?
  7. (Splitting into two because of arbitrary quoting limit) But the rules for that are not fit for purpose. A Best Quality Bolter still has difficulty injuring a Space Marine. For what it's worth I would be *more* than happy for the Sororitas to have access to their own special class of bolter *as well*. To me the single bolter statline is an artifact of tabletop rules, not an inviolable truth of the setting. I'd suggest that since the Sororitas are specifically supposed to weed out corruption that, rather than giving their bolters a damage bonus, they should get Sanctified and Felling (I know you have an issue with Felling as well, but I really don't - I'm perfectly happy with the idea of a weapon designed specifically to deal with preternaturally resilient enemies). I do agree that the difference between Marines and Humans is a bit extreme in the FFG RPGs, and I was very pleased when Unnaturals went from a multiplier to a straight addition, but I still think that the big issue here is Toughness and Armour rather than anything else. I don't think a slight bonus to meltagun damage is either here or there. Except the thing is that Astartes *don't* get the most powerful weapons. They get more powerful versions of some mid-range weapons. Astartes only make Renegades obsolete if the Renegade is trying to be a poor man's Space Marine in the first place. That is, if they're trying to specialise in heavy-armoured frontal assaults. In which case they might as well have chosen to play a Marine from the beginning.
  8. I think we agree more than we seem to here. I'm all for giving humans access to more powerful weapons, I just don't think the solution is to make all bolters as effective as the Astartes/Legion bolter. That strikes me as eliminating a useful entry on the gear list (the "standard" Bolter, which is an effective anti-flak weapon but not an effective anti-power-armour weapon). Part of the reason I'm in favour of enhanced stats for Astartes/Legion weapons is that it seems to preserve their niche nicely. The only weapons that have improved Astartes/Legion versions are shotguns, bolters, flamers, meltas and plasma guns, all of which occupy a specific tactical niche and none of which, I would argue, are the most powerful weapons in the game. Humans are still equally effective at using heavy weapons (only the Heavy Bolter gets an Astartes version), sniper rifles (the Astartes sniper isn't particularly good, and isn't included in core BC anyway). I'd argue that the *only* weapon which really gets a major benefit from the Legion Bonus is the Bolter. I double checked yesterday and Legion Meltaguns *aren't* longer range than Human ones, so they really do only get a +4 to damage, and that isn't much when you're dealing with melta weaponry. Interestingly Legion Plasma pistols actually have *shorter* range than human ones. It doesn't have to be damage, but it does have to be something that is meaningful in everyday gameplay which, in RPG combat, usually translates as damage. I've played Deathwatch, and the various organs don't really come up that often in actual play, but your Unnaturals come up all the time. Basically I see the Astartes Weapon bonus as a relative non-issue, but as one that makes a reasonable amount of sense given the mechanics and the fluff attached to the FFG version of the game. Firstly it makes little sense for Marines to carry weapons which are barely capable of penetrating their own damned armour (to be fair, the same could be said of Guardsmen - Flak Armour makes lasrifles extremely ineffective) and secondly marines are about 30% *bigger* than regular humans (even discounting Power Armour) and their weapons are *bigger* as well. To me the real issue standing between Marines and Humans is Unnatural Toughness combined with starting with Power Armour. That's what makes the real difference to combat survivability, which has a real impact on gameplay. Plasma guns in the RPG *do* have an autofire setting, although they have a slightly lower rate of fire than the boltgun. But even so, I don't see how a weapon that is slightly better for the narrow situation in which you face a large number of weak enemies counts as being all-round preferable. Of course it also depends on what rule system you're using. In FFG 40K with the Hordes rules bolters are slightly better because they get Explosive damage. I think I'd argue that in tabletop Plasma weapons are probably better because they're more likely to wound (although I admit that the rapid fire option from a bolter might help in this context). I never said that plasma weapons were free in Necromunda, only that they were 100% *worth the points*. Wounding on a 2+ is way better than having a slightly lower chance of running out of ammo. Or you could use frag grenades. Or you could just use your much vaunted superior maneuverability to bypass the large number of low-threat enemies completely. Indeed I'd notice that you yourself mention that Astartes regularly go into battle with only a few hundred rounds of ammunition. Even if you could take out a large number of enemies efficiently with a Bolter, you would be putting undue stress on a weapon for which you have limited ammo, and which you are going to have difficulty repairing in the field. But that isn't always how Astartes work (nor is it impossible that Imperial Guardsmen could do the same job). The Imperial Fists, for example, are specifically specialists in siege warfare. You don't suddenly see them swapping out their bolters for lasguns so that they will have an easier time maintaining them. I buy the idea that lasguns are *cheap* and therefore easy to produce in large quantities for the massive armies of the Imperial Guard. The problem is that the idea of boltguns being special and rare has been progressively diluted over the years. The Necromunda rulebook may suggest that bolters are prestige weapons for gang leaders, but they're only 35 Credits on the open market, and they're a weapon the gang leader is likely to *upgrade* the moment they can afford a better one. You could outfit an entire Necromunda gang with Bolters trivially easily, and you'd wind up being more effective in combat as a result. Ultimately the Boltgun is the iconic weapon of 40K but, for that reason, it tends to show up in every 40K product. That in turn means that it goes from being something reserved for the elite forces of the Imperium to something that any old ganger can buy in the Underhive. As a result, I support the notion of the Astartes/Legion bolter as allowing the boltgun to fulfill both functions, both as the flagship weapon of basically every armed force in the Imperium and *also* as the specific symbol of the Adeptus Astartes. I think it's actually quite an elegant solution. But we're not really talking about the way that the Marines operate now, we're talking about the way Marines are designed. that, after all, is what would affect their individual capabilities as warriors. Particularly when you're talking about Legion Marines who definitely *did* come from the days when the Space Marines were actually *armies*. I'd also point out that whatever the fluff might say, Space Marine Armies are clearly A Thing in 40K - if the primary role of the Space Marine was to do special ops then they'd be an individual squad choice for Imperial armies, not an army list on their own. I don't buy that it would be harder to recruit Storm Troopers than Marines. Remember we're talking about *billions* of worlds here. You only need to produce one viable candidate per world, and you already outnumber the Marines a thousand to one. I can see the tradition argument, but I'd suggest that this is another argument for using Marines in prominent, visible, battlefield roles. If they're constantly working behind the lines and undercover, they don't really work as a propaganda tool. The reason that the guard are slow and lumbering is that there are a *lot* of them. There's no reason you couldn't use a small unit of Guardsmen with grav-chutes or the like to get into position. Again, I get that the Astartes are traditionally used for this kind of job, and that they are, therefore, traditionally given the kind of gear that helps them with this kind of job. To me it follows that the kind of gear they get should be the gear that is *effective* for this kind of job. Which would include, amongst other things, a slightly more effective Meltagun that can actually get you through those fortress walls. Given that Marines wear Power Armour and are, therefore, clearly *capable* of wielding heavier, more advanced weapons, why on Earth would they not develop them?
  9. Unfortunately here you're fighting against literally *decades* of tabletop canon. I don't think there's ever been an edition of 30K in which Space Marines were not, as standard, better shots than Imperial Guard. Guardsmen aren't sharpshooters, they're baseline soldiers. I'd also strongly disagree that Marines have a melee bias. They might be better off in close quarters against Guard, Tau or even some Necrons that have a *strong* ranged bias, but all else being equal they're strictly better off with bolters than with hand-to-hand. The issue isn't that CSMs would get pidgeonholed as melee fighters just because Renegades could be as good as they were, it's that CSMs would get pidgeonholed as melee fighters because they would have *specifc*, melee-only bonuses and no corresponding ranged bonuses. It's sort of like D&D Fighters. In theory there was nothing stopping them from specializing in ranged weapons, but because specializing in melee was so much *more effective* for them they basically never did. Or if you prefer, it's like the way that Hereteks and Apostates get pidgeonholed as tech-focused and social-focused characters even though there is basically nothing stopping either of them specialising in combat if they want to. I'd also point out that the only bonuses that CSMs get to ranged combat is from the *small* number of weapons that have boosed "Legion" versions. As long as those aren't the best weapons in the game (and I don't think they are) it will remain a relatively small bonus. I'd also add that a big advantage of the "Legion Bolter" bonus is that it allows CSM players who *don't* want to just upgrade their bolter to the next shiny weapon at the earliest opportunity to remain effective. A bolter is, after all, a powerful symbol for a space marine, and it strikes me as appropriate that they be incentivised to keep them. True, but this is exactly what I see as causing the problem. In an RPG all players are special, but you have to be very careful to make sure that the individual specialness of each PC doesn't clash. At the most extreme end, we could completely eliminate all game-mechanical differences between CSMs and Humans (except for the special Marine organs). A Marine is special by dint of being a Marine, a Human is dint of being the sort of Human who is about as good as a Marine. The problem with this is that it undermines the flavour of the Marines, who are specifically supposed to be *genetically engineered supersoldiers*. If my genetic engineering is ultimately game mechanically identical to your careful training, it isn't particularly clear how my being genetically engineered helps. In some games this is fine - you could run a perfectly good FUDGE-based 40K game in which "Renegade Member of the Adeptus Astartes" and "Fallen Member of the Imperial Guard" were both just High Concept Aspects. But the 40K RPGs have a very crunchy, very detailed, very *mechanically specific* way of representing game-reality, and if Marines are supposed to be genetically engineered to have superhuman capabilities then there needs to be a game-mechanical reflection of that. If I play a Marine in an RPG I want that character to feel *quantifiably different* from a character who isn't a Marine. Many years ago, I played in a Necromunda campaign. One of the players in that campaign decided (partly for flavour, and partly because it was beardy as all get-out) to field a gang equipped only with Plasma weapons. He completely kicked ass, because while Plasma weapons have *minor* disadvantages, the advantages massively outweigh them. I suspect you wouldn't be happy of the new Codex Space Marines allowed all Marines to swap out their bolters for Plasma Guns at zero points cost. Heck in an earlier post you mention yourself that any CSM worth his salt will upgrade their starting bolter for a more effective weapon the first chance they get. I agree that Meltas are more limited due to their short range, but plasma guns are flat-out better than boltguns. And they're *certainly* better for the kinds of jobs Space Marines are supposed to be doing. A small unit in need of concentrated firepower in a narrow space is far better off using plasma weaponry than bolt weaponry. I'd also question the suggestion that the reason Imperial Guardsmen don't use bolters is that they're harder to maintain. The Imperial Guard work from vast, entrenched positions with constant and well-structured technical support. If the issue was *maintenance* then surely *they* should be the ones that get the bolters, not the Marines (who are frequently being dropped behind enemy lines, or redeployed to the edges of known space, or otherwise finding themselves in places where keeping your weapon maintained is strictly *difficult*). I believe that in the setting *originally* written by GW the Space Marines were convicted criminals given a last chance to redeem themselves by dying in the service of the Emperor. Things have changed a lot since. I do agree that Astartes fetishisation is a problem in the novels and (arguably) the fandom, but I don't think either of my comments are evidence of that problem. The plasma guns conversation came out of a simple numbers game backed up by the (highly canonical) observation that regardless of their *objective* importance in the Galaxy, the Astartes are a major institution within the Imperium. There are a billion worlds in the Imperium, which implies that there are at least a billion *full regiments* of Imperial Guard. Compared with only a million Astartes. Assuming that the Astartes have any value to the Imperium *at all* it makes sense to equip them fully before even thinking about the *trillions* of guardsmen you have to kit out, simply because the relative numbers involved are so huge. As for the observation about Astartes otherwise being a waste - I don't mean as an instiution. I can absolutely see the value in having elite soldiers trained to act as a fast-moving rapid-reaction priority-target force. But why not just train a bunch of guardsmen to do it? Why go through this whole rigmarole with cloning yourself to create twenty beings of godlike power, then cloning them to create twenty legions of super-warriors, and arranging things so that the only way you could make *more* super-warriors was to harvest genetic material from a special gland inside the body of a *living* super-warrior if what you wind up with at the end are only incrementally better than regular soldiers. To put it another way, if Astartes aren't legitimately superhuman, surely it would be far more efficient to just replace them with the million best trained Imperial Guardsmen. I'll also nail my colours to the mast now and say I absolutely *do* believe that the GW fluff makes no sense - I just don't think that's a *bad thing*. It's a self-consciously absurd mashup setting full of very silly jokes and stuff that just seemed like a cool idea at the time. I don't think Marines as Unstoppable Gods of War makes any *more* sense, I just think "making sense" went out of the window the moment we started work on a setting that had, as its core premise "space travel involves a zombie wizard guiding ships through space-hell with his psychic powers." At the risk of sounding glib, I might point out that if you want to blow a hole in a fortress, a hammer is a far more effective tool than a scalpel. And perhaps more to the point - *how* do Space Marines blow holes in fortresses? Presumably they don't just punch their way through, which means either (a) they have access to better gear or (b) the Imperial Guard could do the job just as well. Holding strategic objectives likewise. If the only thing the Astartes are good at is melee combat and tactical flexibility, holding a fixed position really does not play to their strengths. The Astartes have better tanks, better armour, better ships. Why shouldn't they have better guns as well? True, but what's important from an in-universe perspective matters a lot less to me than what feels important when I'm playing the game. The reason I'm okay with what you might call "Astartes exceptionalism" is that it cements the idea that the Marines are genuinely *different* from regular humans, and not just because they've had better training. I agree that the subtractive armour system is a real issue with the game (although I'm not *totally* sure what I'd replace it with). And actually I even agree that there's no reason that Human heretics (particularly Hereteks) couldn't get access to Legion weapons. Although honestly I think that the more sensible solution is to just add more powerful *non* legion weapons into the game. At the same time I think there's space for the lower-levels of Bolters, Shotguns and the like, and I think there *is* a value in preserving the distinction, rather than just assuming that a Bolter is a Bolter is a Bolter. The standard bolter occupies a useful position in the armoury between the Lasgun/Autogun (1D10 + 3 Pen 0) and Legion Bolters (1D10 + 9 Pen 5). It also just feels wrong for me for the weapon that a Chaos Marine was gifted personally by Horus and has wielded for ten millennia against the fool servants of the God-Emperor to be mechanically identical to one that just got stamped out of an assembly line in Gunmetal City. I think it's mostly the same thing but it depends on the context. More specifically, I think a CSM can fit better into a Humans game than a Human can fit into a CSM campaign. In a Human-centric game there is *already* going to be a wide variation in combat effectiveness between, say, Renegades and Apsostates or Psykers and Hereteks. Adding a CSM wouldn't necessarily throw things off that much. Meanwhile in a CSM-centric game there is an assumption that player characters will have CSM-level combat effectiveness, and a Human character will be extremely out of their depth. The human can still achieve things, but they can't contribute to the sorts of things that CSMs are likely to be doing, which is bad for party cohesion. I suspect, incidentally, that a big part of the issue here isn't so much that CSMs are overwhelmingly more powerful than Humans as that CSMs are intrinsically more suited to the kinds of activity that RPG parties traditionally engage in, partly because the sorts of things Marines are designed to do (like taking out priority targets and blowing holes in fortifications) are exactly the kind of thing that Roleplaying characters do.
  10. The problem with Marines only having an advantage in melee combat and survivability is that it pidgeonholes Marines as primarily Melee fighters, which they really aren't. Chaos Marines are *slightly* more melee-focused than loyalists, but only because of specialist units like Raptors, Berzerkers, Possessed and Mutilators. Regular Space Marines are a tactically flexible army with (I would argue) a slight bias towards shooting. If Marines didn't get a bonus in ranged combat, it would mean that ranged Marines were, in effect, nerfed relative to melee Marines. They're not supposed to be better equipped than *every single other member* of the Imperial Military, but they are supposed to be better equipped *in general*. I'd argue that the fluff you cite actually supports this. Bolters are available to Commissars and, as heirlooms, to select imperial officers. But in the RPG (and, to be honest, in most GW games) they've been available to pretty much everybody. The Sororitas codex, after all, says "armour and weapons the equal of any Space Marine Chapter" not "armour and weapons the equal of ... well ... about half the citizens of the Imperium really, I mean seriously half the gangs on Necromunda have bolt weapons these days". The fact that melta and plasma weapons are available to baseline grunts is, I would argue, more evidence in *favour* of giving Astartes weapons an upgrade. If, as you suggest, the Astartes are supposed to be a mobile, elite strike force designed to take out high-priority targets, why restrict them to the (comparatively weak) Boltgun when there are enough Plasma and Melta weapons out there to give to Imperial Guard squads? We had exactly this conversation the last time we played Deathwatch. Why on Earth do DW characters - who are already members of an elite within an elite - have to build up a prerequisite level of Renown before they are allowed to access weapons that the Imperium is happy to hand out to low-level ground-pounders? As always a big part of the issue here comes from the Tabletop to RPG conversion. A squad of ten Space Marines with Power Armour and Boltguns feel a whole lot more powerful than a squad of ten Imperial Guardsmen with flak armour and lasguns because in a given turn the Marines will hit seven or eight times to the Guardsmen's five, deal five or six wounds to the guardsmen's two or three, and save most of those (while the Marines' guns will blow through the guardsmen's armour without thinking about it). In a squad-based wargame based on D6es a relatively small incremental advantage feels significant. Perhaps more importantly, the fact that *one* of those Imperial Guardsmen could have a Bolt Pistol doesn't change things much. What makes the Marines more effective is that they all have BS4 and the all have S4 weapons. Put it in a tabletop context and things start to look very different. Yes a Space Marine with a Bolter (even a regular bolter) will do more damage than a Guardsman with a Lasgun, but because of the way RPGs deal with gear, the guardsman is likely to have upgraded their lasgun to a bolter as well. And because the game is percentile-based the Marine's extra ten points of BS make far less difference than the difference between BS4 and BS3. And of course that difference will also disappear if the Guardsman puts points into improving Ballistic Skill. In tabletop a Marine army can feel like it is composed of elite, superhuman warriors even though in reality Marines only have incremental advances relative to regular humans, because the game doesn't include an experience point system which regularly advances regular humans to a level above their starting capability. In the RPG Marines need *something* to make them feel like they aren't just slightly better trained humans. The Unnatural Strength and Unnatural Toughness bonuses go a long way to preserving this difference, but this has the side-effect of making Marines feel sort of like Ogryns - their only real advantage over regular humans is being big, strong, and tough.That doesn't capture the feeling of being a truly *elite* fighting force. Giving them better gear helps preserve that feeling. If we're talking about *every* part of the Imperium having its role then I'd argue that the role of "scalpel" rests squarely on the Officio Assasinorum. They're the guys that the Imperium call when they want to surgically remove a specific target. The Space Marines - whatever Deathwatch might have to say about it - are primarily for fighting wars. They were, after all, created specifically for the Great Crusade, which was an invasion, not a black op. If we're sticking with the tool metaphor I would argue that the Marines very much *are* the hammer - heavy hitting and surprisingly fast moving but not actually particularly subtle or discriminating. The Guard, I would argue, are the anvil - large, unwieldy, and solid, a mass against which things are broken. I'd also point out that a lot of the advantages you cite Marines as having simply disappear in the RPG, both in the sense of not being useful and in the rather more important sense of not being true. A Marine's experience might mean that he can switch between being a tank driver, a jump jet melee expert, a heavy weapons gunner, a speeder pilot or a sniper at a moment's notice, but: a) That is very seldom useful in a tabletop role-playing game where players work in highly niche-protected parties, and insofar as it *is* true it actually feels detrimental to the all-important "coolness" factor which I think we both agree is very important in a tabletop roleplaying game. One of the recurring issues in the sporadic Deathwatch game I am involved in is that the Assault Marine is constantly aware that he would be slightly better off using a Heavy Bolter than actually fighting in melee. Similarly while it might be true that a CSM can pilot a speeder or act as a sniper at a moment's notice, it is *extremely* improbable that they would have to. I'd also point out that since the only sniper rifles in the game are las-weapons or exotic weapons *every* character in a 40K RPG is equally capable of acting as a sniper at a moment's notice. b) It is strictly untrue in an RPG. In tabletop having WS4, BS4, ST4, T4 is basically all you need to be a highly tactically flexible combatant. In a tabletop RPG with a much more complex blow-by-blow combat system, a good basic statline really doesn't cut it. My Deathwatch character is a Devastator, and since he hasn't invested in any melee bonuses, it means his options in close combat are basically to attack with his knife for 1D10 + 8 damage. Which isn't terrible, but since the Assault Marine is making four attacks with a Power Sword in that amount of time, it doesn't really feel like I'm pulling my weight. And again, a regular human with a Chainsword would be able to do about the same amount of damage, more if they had put any effort whatsoever into improving their melee abilities. I am also strictly *incapable* of using a Jump Pack because even though fluff suggests that I could, Marines don't get Pilot: Personal as standard. Nor do they get proficiency with Astartes Sniper Rifles, even though they are all expected to have gone through Scout training. The thing is, it's even more complicated than that - the question isn't which system is better for a game with mixed parties, it's which system is better for a game which wants to support CSM-only parties, Human-only parties and mixed parties. For a CSM-only party the Legion-weapons bonus is definitely a plus, because it means that the characters can effectively fight the sorts of enemies that Marines are likely to be fighting (this was the same argument you made yourself for Deathwatch). For Humans-only parties I would argue that it is a plus as well, because it allows Marines to be a truly terrifying opponent as (I would argue) they should be. It doesn't make them unstoppable, because a well-built Human PC will almost always be more effective than a generic NPC unless the GM is explicitly trying to hose the players (but they can do that by any method they like), but it reinforces the otherness of the Marines, which I think is good. It's only in mixed games where it causes problems, but I think the problems are more of split focus than of pure power. Between a CSM with a Legion Bolter, a Renegade with a Plasma Gun and an Apostate with a Laspistol, it's the extremely low damage of the laspistol that make combat balancing tricky, not the high damage of the Bolter. Resilience is arguably a much bigger issue. An attack that will do one wound to a Marine in Power Armour will do seven wounds to a Renegade in Carapace and nine to an Apostate in Flak. And this has profound implications for the kinds of strategy which the PCs might adopt. A CSM is happy to frontally charge a unit of guardsmen, but it would be suicide for a Human. The problem here isn't so much balance as the fact that it necessarily splits parties.
  11. The problem is that this is what I would call a "burned on the outside raw in the middle" solution. Marines do what Marines do far better than non-marines, while non-marines do what non-marines do far better than marines. Which can be a headache to GM because it means you're constantly having to sideline one side of the party or the other. Similarly, I'm not completely sure that the fact that Marines make bigger targets really balances out their being more powerful. As - I think - Lynata pointed out above, the key point here is that everybody should get to be cool. For some players (and I suspect mileage varies here a *lot*) having the Marines "balanced" by the fact that, in essence, the whole galaxy thinks they're far more important than you are just makes the situation worse. It's basically a matter of taste. I prefer to segregate not so much because CSMs are more *powerful* (like I say, I think the CSM/Human variation is well within what you expect from a non-class-based system) but because they have a tendency to dominate the narrative, with everything having to be designed around their unique capabilties, limitations, and ties to canon.
  12. I'm not sure Ogryns count as "natural". It's not like an Ogryn starts out as an ordinary human and just tries really hard. You make a good point that four points of damage either way can - in the subtractive damage system of 40K - make the difference between "can't hurt at all" and "can take out quite easily" but again I'd suggest that they key point here is that the difference between Chaos Marines and Humans is far smaller than the difference between Humans an Other Humans. For example, even within the *same archetype* the Renegade can be starting play with a Best Craftsmanship Lasgun (1D10 + 3 Damage, Pen 0, never jams) or a Common Craftsmanship Plasma Gun (1D10 + 8 Damage, Pen 10, Maximal, Overheats). Admittedly you have to buy Weapon Training Plasma to use the plasma gun but that's a comparatively small investment of XP for a massive increase in damage right off the bat. I do kind of see the distinction between Apostate/Renegade and Renegade/CSM in that yes, I can imagine a player who specifically wants to play a combat-focused human. But there's an extent to which I think that's a player who has conflicting goals - their desire to play a Human on the one hand and their desire to play a *completely optimised* combat character on the other. If your primary motivation is to be as combat-optimised as possible, then you should just play a CSM if that's the option. If you care more about your character concept than about optimisation then you just need to accept that you chose to play a non-optimal combat character. I also find it interesting that you use the word "tanks" to describe Marines - I'd be inclined to agree, but I'd be inclined to use the term in the more literal "large heavily armoured weapons platform" sense of the word. It's true that a bolter is a bolter is a bolter in tabletop, but at the same time the marines are clearly *supposed* to be better equipped than the rest of the Imperial military. If they're only incrementally better than the average Imperial soldier, the entire Primarch project seems like a bit of a waste of time. I do agree that it causes balance issues, and I *would* be inclined to segregate Human and Heretic PCs, but more because they have very different focuses than because CSMs are *brokenly* more powerful than Humans.
  13. When you wade through the bloody remains of your enemies, raising your head to the sky and screaming your warcry for the glory of Khorne... ... and then you realise that you've *still* killed far fewer people than you did when you were playing Dark Heresy.
  14. That was indeed the implication I was going for. More generally, I tend to find you can get a lot of inspiration for 40K material from history. The Mongol Hordes made the average Khorne warband look like a bunch of gutless wimps. The Wars of the Roses make Hive politics look straightforward and transparent. The medieval church was way stranger and more Byzantine than the Ecclesiarchy.
  15. Equipment doesn't have to do anything with training, and in the tabletop as well as GW's own fluff (and a small number of Black Library novels) Humans are quite capable at rivalling veteran Astartes as well. And not just as snipers. I often point out that this is because the guns in 40k are a great equaliser, but in BC this is not the case as FFG has chosen to introduce two tiers of gear, artificially inflating the gap between Humans and Astartes. That said, it's important to keep in mind that there is no canon, and quite a few non-GW-studio sources (mainly a large number of Black Library novels) support the interpretation of a vast gap between Humans and Astartes, so BC isn't "wrong" because it sticks to the "walking immortal god of war" version of Marines - I just think this makes for poor balancing in mixed groups and is a problematic, even dumbed-down representation of the game's world, as if Marines were not important already. And let's be honest, which CSM apart from Sorcerers is never going to upgrade his bolter? Experienced humans can be as good as *less* experienced Marines is sort of the key point. The most personally powerful characters in tabletop have *always* been Marines (at least within humanity - Eldar and the like are a different matter). Hell I'm pretty sure that in the most recent incarnation of the tabletop rules humans never get Strength or Toughness above 3. As for guns being the great equaliser ... they basically still are. There are a very small number of weapons which have "Astartes"/"Legion" versions that are more powerful than the standard weapons but, crucially, these generally *aren't* the most powerful weapons in the game (with the possible exception of the Astartes Heavy Bolter). A reaper autocannon is a reaper autocannon, regardless of who carries it. And even then the difference between Legion and mundane weapons is only four points of damage, which is very little compared to the differences between optimised and non-optimised builds. As for what kind of CSM wouldn't upgrade his bolter - that's sort of my point. CSMs are better at fighting than humans and so *all else being equal* they would be expected to be better at fighting. If a CSM and a Human put equal effort into improving their combat effectiveness, the CSM will always be ahead. That itself isn't a problem, any more than it is a problem that a Renegade will be more effective in combat than an Apostate. It only becomes a real problem if a *non* combat-optimised CSM is more effective than a combat optimised human. If CSM starting weapons were *so good* that humans could never beat them, even by upgrading, that would be an issue.
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