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Lord Master Igneus

Rak'Gol vs Space Marines?

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Rak'gol are bad, bad xenos.  Given the stats for Rak'gol (especially the wounds, armour and straight damage) they could do some damage to space marines and wouldn't even have to outnumber them too badly.

 

Without having actually tested it, I'd say a trio of Rak'gol could take a space marine without a ton of luck.  And the numbers could be even smaller in larger match ups. 

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Indeed. I've often thought that the Rak'Gol would make an excellent enemy for a Deathwatch game for all the reasons mentioned about their stats.

 

Fluffwise, I'd say Marines could still take them, if they weren't ridiculously outnumbered, and still with losses. Because of their superiority with tactics and coordination. I've had a GM who was in the army for a long time, and lemme tell you even in a tabletop RPG it makes a lot of difference when you find yourself up against enemies who are using small unit tactics on you, as opposed to the more usual and straightforward combats I find that most GMs give. And Rak'Gol aren't big on tactics it seems.

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So one of my players sort of broke the mission and I did not expect it.

 

The kill-team arrived on the vessel to investigate and have no idea what slaughtered most of its crew. Upon moving up to the second level the Rak'Gol pass their perception checks and notice the team, they all frenzy and begin rushing out of the various rooms they were lurking in to rush the kill-team. Luckily they were prepared and discovered that the Rak'Gol were responsible after eating some brains of deceased crew members. Now the squads Librarian, an Imperial Fist, has stonebane, which he uses to smash a hole in the floor of the deck and jumps down to meet the devastator guarding the boarding torpedo. The majority of the frenzied and quite stupid rak'gol do not notice the hole in the floor in their rage, and most of them fell through the hole. 2 carvers and a render charged the team, they rolled bad and all missed. The apothecary shoots the render at point blank range with his combi-melta and takes away 2/3 of its health and the assailants are picked off by fire for effect bolter shots.

 

They took the elevator to the bridge, encountered a kill-marine who was stationed on the ship protecting the navigator's chambers. He has managed to kill a good amount of the xenos onboard the ship. Now the rest of the assailants have become aware of the new presence on the vessel and rush for the bridge to kill them. Unfortunately two of the players tried their tech use tests to attempt to vent the ship and eliminate the boarders. They fail both times and the apothecary tells them all to turn their mag-locks on and open the doors to the bridge, the navigator is sealed in her chambers. Once the small horde reaches the bridge the apothecary used his combi-melta to blow a hole in the glass viewing port on the bridge and all of the baddies got sucked out into space.

 

They probably cut the time it would have normally taken them to complete it by half.

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I'm really glad your players had fun, and that is absolutely the most important thing... but I have a couple of points I feel are worth bringing up here.

 

1) Although I've used the tactic before, I don't believe that even the Imperium is foolish enough to have a quick and easy way of literally venting the entire ship in a single round from a single bridge station. It's far too vulnerable to a single infiltrator killing everyone.

 

2) Rak'Gol all have Good Quality Respiratory System, meaning they can keep their blood stream oxygenated even in the absence of air or atmosphere.

 

3) They're meant to crawl on the ceiling during attacks, so presumably they could jut dig their talons into the floor. Also your players should still have had to test, just with a bonus for their magboots.

 

4) Bridges don't have easily penetrable windows for basically this reason.

 

But as noted, rewarding intelligent play is something you should definitely encourage. I just feel like you kind of undersold the Rak'Gol by turning them into spider Orks.

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1)Probably wouldn't empty all the air all at once, but you specifically can vent entire sections to put out fires, so they vent one section at a time starting with the one they're in. It's also probably why Tech use checks were required, to see if and how quickly they can get the core cogitator to do it.

 

2) That doesn't deal with the decompression and radiation. Check the bit on vacuum and you'll see it only helps with the suffocation. They'd last a fair time in Vac, but without propulsion of some sort getting back to the ship might be difficult (not sure how far beyond the skin the grav plating effect would run, but presumably not far).

 

3) Sure why not. Both sides have to make a strength test to avoid getting sucked out sounds appropriate. Maybe he did do this, there was some mention of poor rolls on the NPC side.

 

4) Lots of art shows big ole viewing ports/windows on the bridges of all the ships. The melta gun is an anti-tank weapon. Seems cinematically appropriate. I'd allow it.

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1) It's true you can vent sections - but that's also the venting of specific sections performed by an entire active and authorized command staff (Including those in engineering and actually working in the life-sustainer systems) over the course of a half-hour long strategic turn.  I mean, we don't know how easy or difficulty it was fluffed in the actually story, but it comes up more than often enough to be wroth discussing.

 

2) I assume this was meant with the assumption that they stay in the vented ship, particularly as the "strong wind to space" doesn't actually happen in reality.  Radiation I doubt would have much, if any effect in the short term - or even necessarily the long term given that they all show signs of massive radiation doses that are either intentional or a normal byproduct of their real-space engines.  Even for humans space-radiation only matters in the course of weeks or months.  Given that decompression in space is not particularly devastating (in the realm of things that can kill a normal human) I'd consider letting the heavily bionic and unnaturally tough alien space-raiders survive vacuum depending on what kind of story I'm going for.  It would add to the creepy factor, if nothing else.

 

3) As noted above, if you did put a hole on a large ship, it's not going to generate that strong of a wind.  After all, there's only 1 atmosphere of difference.  Also, if the ship was completely powered, emergency blast doors really should be slamming closed to prevent it from evacuating the entire ship.  

 

4) You know, I've seen this a lot (sometimes with even lighter weapons), even in some of the published material, and it's never worked for me.  If that's what a man-portable anti-tank weapon can do, imagine was a single pass from a Fury Intercepter's 8 reactor-fed Las cannons would do.  The same fury who's weapons are said not to have a hope of penetrating a void-ship's skin.  I like the huge vista panels, but I've always assumed its not actually glass, but rather some kind of three-foot-thick hard, clear sci-fi substance (transpara-steel anyone?) that would at least take an anti-ship bomb or macrocannon shell to penetrate.

 

Just thought I'd throw my 2 thrones in.  

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Due to the fact that I was somewhat stoned at the time we were playing I might have let the crawling on walls thing slip.

 

I'm definitely going to utilize them as enemies again, as I feel that they are able to present a good challenge to space marines. I'm considering having some Yu'Vath present as well. Or rather their weird creature things.

Edited by Lord Master Igneus

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Sandslimes are surprisingly deadly in Rogue Trader, because they extensively punish the "throw wave after wave of our own men" at the problem, since then you have a problem of wave after wave of Sandslimes coming at you. 

 

Fossil Horrors would be interesting for a group of Deathwatch Marines.

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*stuff*

 

Just thought I'd throw my 2 thrones in.  

Interesting to hear your perspective.

 

1) If you read my response to this then you'd already know I acknowledged pretty much everything you've already said as plausible. However I've never read or seen anywhere that venting the section takes a specific number of people or in a specific manner. Perhaps all it takes is access to the core cogitator or command consoles on the bridge/captain's station to open/seal appropriate bulkhead doors and exterior hatches and to cut power to the life support system.

 

2) I agree that the science supports that, sort of. It's not like we have a lot of hard data on the effects of being spaced on people let alone aliens. "The science" might even be why you don't start taking damage immediately and can make toughness tests to avoid damage from being spaced. As I mentioned it would take some time for them to die of that given they will pass more of their tests, have more wounds, and have higher toughness than your average human. On the other hand Rogue Trader, Warhammer 40k, and RPG's in general pay at best lip service to "hard science" anyway. Instead they prefer cinematic action movie science. The sort of thing that gets people sucked out of an airplane when a single window is broken or sent flying 10 feet when shot with an ounce of lead pellets from a shotgun.

 

3) Totally true about the wind. Most people liken star ships to reverse submarines, which is sort of correct, except the pressure differential isn't that massive. Like I've already said, that sort of thing relies on cinematic action sequence and rule of cool rather than hard science. Emergency blast doors? See #4 about that.

 

4) It's called gassteel in a couple different places and the description of a ship's bridge in BFK describes "tall windows and great observation blisters guarded by armored shutters give views across the hull of the ship and into the void beyond." Presumably the armored shutters are there both to protect against warp travel shenanigans (no lookie) and during combat against whatever you care to throw against them (hopefully at least) in combat. Presumably this means glassteel isn't exceptionally durable.

 

Either way, my answer remains the same. If it sounds fun and exciting, roll with it one way or another.

 

****. I got distracted and wandered away a bit before posting and now I have the feeling there's something I forgot to say... Oh well.

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