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Alank2

A lot of questions about balance, weapons and ranks - warning, very long post

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 Hi again,
 I'm going to GM a DW campaign in a few weeks (I hope we'll start this month, we had some serious delay last month). While I do have some expierience in FFG's 40k RPG - I'm currently GM'ing DH, Ascension, RT, OW and BC campaigns, one for each system - I have no experience with DW at all, aside from reading rulebooks, adventures and spending a lot of time on this forum. So in order to avoid some balance issues and/or problems with game's mechanics, I thought I'll ask some questions here in hope that people with more experience will answer. Thanks in advance!

 This post is going to be very long, sorry! I have a lot of questions, but you don't need to answer all of them at once - any answer will be nice and wil definitly help me make my session better.


 1. First a question about balance. Currently in our Kill-team, we have:
 - Iron Hand Techmarine (player decided to change speciality from Librarian because he's playing psyker in our DH campaign already). He is going to be focused mainly on melee combat and will propably take Chaplain Rank in order to becaome Iron Father, Iron Hand Techarmine-Chaplain.. He is our only min-maxer, so he's going to be the only player with optimised build - he also has most experience in group, because of playing in my first DH campaign (currently starting Ascension in a few days).
 - Black Templar Tactical, with Right Gear for the Job Deed - Power Sword. He's going to build a balanced character, focused on fighting in melee, but not ignoring Tac's shooting Talents, if a need arise. His goal is to take Sword Brother (with my homebrow boost, so he'll have Wall of Steel and Swift Attack, to compensate for not being Assault, and also Blademaster, to buy on his rank). He will definitly take Emperor's Champion once in campaign too, if he lives long enough to meet requirements and mission will be challenging enough. He took Tac's ability that allows him to give other players his Squad Modes.
 - Raven Guard Tactical, with two Deeds - Lone Survivor (against Tyranids) and another Deed giving him Counter-Attack and +3 WS. Because of his rich and intresting backround, he also took Tyrannic War Veteran, so he's going to be our only Medic in team. He also plans to have a balanced character, focusing on tactical flexibility, surprise attacks in CC, but also capable of shooting if situation demands. He also has a huge xp debt because of Deeds and Alternate Rank, so it will take him few sessions to take something more. He also took ability to give other members of the team his Squad Modes, which is extremely important since he's not going to be a Team Leader for a long time because of Long Survivor.
 - Dark Angel Devastator, with Deed giving him Counter-Attack. He plans on focusing heavily on shooting, but also being capable of defending himself and counter-attacking in CC if he has to (Stalwart Defence+ Counter-Attack is a really nice combination), so he'e not going to be killed instantly in melee. He wants to earn Terminator Honours and became Deathwing Veteran.

 And now, my question. I'm going to run GM's Kit Adventure and make it a beginning of campaign (so basically players will spend few next sessions trying to outsmart and outrun the Tau in search and destroy/capture missions, and after few sessions, they start getting closer to Tyranid-infested planets, until focus slowly changes from Tau to Tyranids, also to give our Tyrannic War Veteran time to buy few skills). Are there going to be any oblivious problems with in-team balance? Does anyone here looks too powerful/too weak, are there any fixes needed or maybe certain scenarios can be unfair to one player? Oh, and by the way, we use Errata, including new weapon stats.

 2. Any thoughts on GM's Kit Adventure? I'm definitly going to make it tougher (3x more Kroot attacking the outpost in the beginning, at least 3 Stealth Suits helping them, and I'm going to multiply number of enemies in all other encounters by 2. Any other ideas, opinions?

 3. Are Frag Missile and Frag Grenade in Errata correct? There seems to be a strange difference in damage when compared to each other, cosindering the fact that one is a grenade and another is a rocket.

 4. Errata states that Tactical Marine's free Special Issue Ammunition applies to everything he takes, not just Bolters, as long as it meets Requisition requirements. Is this a necessery boost to Tactical Marine? I know there is a long discussion on forum about Tac's usefulness in game, so I don't want to make my players weak, I'm just asking if it's alright to allow Tac's to have it.

 5. Does Sword Brother Rank require Terminator Honours?  They are basically equvialent of other chapter's First Companies, but there is not mention of it in th rank requirements.

 6. Is there any good way of changing Chaplain rank a litle bit to make an Iron Father rank for my player, without making it too powerful?

 7. Raven Pattern Shotgun seems extremely weak. For 10 Req, you get silenced shotgun, but it's expensive and one of the weakest Astartes wepons in all books. Its Realiable, but it's damage is pathetic, it has only single shot and generally seems like a waste of Req on any mission other than strictly Stealth mission.

 8. In comparison, isn't Astartes Combat Shotgun too good? It has a high RoF, beter damage than Bolter, the same Penetration, and while range is shorter, in any building, underground locations or in any close-range firefight it's so much better, I see no reason why you shouldn't take it with you on every mission, it's also not too expensive. It's the best secondary weapon on any mission with chances of close-range fight.
 There's also no reason to take Astartes Shotgun, since it has 1 point of Damage less and much slower RoF than Combat Shotgun.



  I'm sorry for any mistakes here, English is not my first language. Feel free to point them out, if you see any. And thanks for reading this way too long post, it's a lot of questions.

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Not at home with books but I will answer the best I can from work:

1) The load out looks really good, but possibly the Templar could go assault marine, seems like it'll fit better, given he's going with the power sword, and he seems to be looking at his shooting as secondary, he can still do some decent shooting with a bolt/plasma pistol into a SB maybe? But that's just my thought, the rest of the squad looks good, though beware the Dev will probably never change his weapon from the HB

 

2) Haven't played the GMs kit so I'll let someone else take that one.

 

3) The damage in the errata is correct but YMMV, I'm currently not using the Errata in my game so I'm not 100% sure what they changed. 

 

4) I see it as streamlining, based on what if he gets a Storm bolter? Or wants to use a Stalker Bolt gun this mission? I'd say it applies to everything so long as they meet the renown. Be aware this will result for early missions anyway, that your Raven guard will forget natural armor is a thing (If he takes his tac special ammo as hellfire)

5)You only need the Terminator honors if you plan on wearing Terminator armour. If sword brother doesn't grant a suit then he doesn't need it

 

6) Lacking books so I can't comment

 

7) I'd use the Raven pattern if the kill team was doing scout/infiltration work. So Stalker bolt guns, sniper rifles and the Raven pattern, otherwise, no.

 

8) Yes, it's REALLY good, and I'm glad my players haven't found it/don't want it. It's Bolter + with some less range but its own types of special ammo. But there is a time and a place for it. If your Kill team is fighting in open country might not be the best choice, if they are Stalingrad-eqsue fighting or say on a Space hulk, it'll be a lovely weapon.

 

Hope I could of helped, any other questions feel free to message me, I can hopefully flush out some more if I had my books/not a blocked work connection ;)

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Thanks for all your answers!

 1) Well, he just wants to play as a Tactical, that's how he sees his character. He starts with Power sword, so he can pack a solid punch in the beginning, and with boosted Sword Brother, he'll be nearly as good as Assault. He will lack Two-Weapon Wielder(Melee) and Lightning Attack, but he can buy TWW on Rank 7. So he's still good in melee.
 In case of any balance problems, I plan to give him some of the Acheros Solo & Squad Modes, and some Oaths to buff him. He has a backstory of being in Acheros Sailent before joining Deathwatch, so it will feel natural for him to have some specialised abilities. So if I see any balance problems, I'll try this solution.
 In case my Raven Guard would have any problems with balance, I have the same solution, only using Orpheus instead of Acheros. Iron Hand is min-max, he'll do fine, and Devastators are strong. And he has a Heavy Bolter, altough an Errata version is much weaker and he can't punch through tanks with it.

 8) It's so good, I'm thinking about nerfing it a little. Right now, it's the best and cheapest weapon there is for close combat, and most of Kill-Team fight's will be close-combat usually. Right now, if you're withing melee range, it's better to just shoot them point blank with this, than attack - you'll deal more damage on first Ranks, before you stack enough Renown to get something better in CC. It's scary.

 And thanks for all the answers, I know it's a really long post to read.

Edited by Alank2

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one thing to remember about the combat shotgun vs a bolter is specialty ammo.

 

sure the assault shotgun seems bad ass, but it can't pack hellfire round, kraken rounds etc. Hellfire rounds in particular are pretty awesome

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Against a horde of say cultists, I'd say the shot gun, but anything with armor I'd take the bolter (Just re-read the rules, the difference is the Bolter Special ammo)

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An min-maxer, playing Iron Hands Tech on melee? Sounds like someone wants to use 2 Breaching Augurs plus Servo-Arm. This can turn your game in to massive damage galore if you are not careful. The way to Chaplan sounds like an excuse to get easy access to a +20 WS bonus, Fearless and a Rosarius. Be careful with him or you can add more than just 3 times more kroot (i.e. 3 Riptides).

Edited by KnightmareAlpha

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