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Mr T

Deathwatch Campaign

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I argue in favour of Bolter Drill especially because the Devastator training. Right now the Fists' advance table has one ranged combat talent, Eye of Vengeance, which adds various bonuses for single shots. Bolter Drill, adding +1 to the RoF, is probably more up the Devastators' alley. Not that a powerful single shot can't be useful with a lascannon, but blasting away on full auto is, for me, a distinctively Devastator-like activity.

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Isn't there only a single heavy weapon that can actually fire on full-auto? Also, note that the source you cited mentions "long-range killing", whereas full-auto bursts are more about short to medium range.

 

That being said, I would agree that heavy bolters are "siege weapons" in a way, too, and that a spray-and-pray approach can be useful in assaulting a fortification. For example, I remember Armageddon Siege Regiments in Epic40k being issued with loads and loads of heavy stubbers just for volume of fire.

 

Still, Bolter Drill is a trait I'd associate more with close assault shock troops, rather than siege elements. And more about Tactical Marines than Devastators. That's just my interpretation, though!

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Also, note that the source you cited mentions "long-range killing", whereas full-auto bursts are more about short to medium range.

 

Mate, are you always this bloody literal-minded?  :P  Anyway, since I play Deathwatch (where the Heavy Bolter is the default Devastator weapon) but I don't play TT (where it is only one of many heavy weapons available), I tend to see the Heavy Bolter instinctively as default, and other heavy gear as sort of "upgrades". Now consider that post-Errata DW Boltguns and Bolt Pistols don't have full auto mode, and you'll immediately understand why I instantly associate full auto bolter bursts with Devastators.

 

Your arguments, of course, make sense. On the other hand, I see Eye of Vengeance with its increased penetration and increased chance for Righteous Fury as something only dedicated sharpshooters should have - an "epic" Talent, perfectly capable of one-shotting an endgame boss. Compare that with Bolter Drill, with its measly +1 bullet, its damage still dependent on having enough DoS on your attack roll. According to my mental image, factory-standard Marines with slightly more time spent on the shooting range than the average Codex marine might pull off the second easier than the first.

 

I also wouldn't associate one class of weapon with sieges more than the others, with the possible exception of flamers for clearing bunkers and other confined spaces, and, of course, Vindicators (silly, silly Vindicators - I never got the point of a gigantic gun sticking out from the middle of a bulldozer blade). Heavy weapons only help if you do a frontal assault, which is probably the last resort of someone good at sieges - after all, if an Assassin is capable of killing you with a bubblegum wrapper and a fluffy plush toy, a Fist or Iron Warrior can probably take your fortifications with half a chopstick, a very old dog and a soft-boiled egg :D

Edited by musungu

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Now consider that post-Errata DW Boltguns and Bolt Pistols don't have full auto mode, and you'll immediately understand why I instantly associate full auto bolter bursts with Devastators.

 

That I can understand. I guess part of our divide is that we just may be looking at it from two different perspectives. ;)

 

Eye of Vengeance actually plays into my interpretation nicely, if you consider that the Devastator Marines are effectively walking artillery. The Imperial Fists' style of siege warfare, thus, would include lots of people lugging heavy weapons into range of an enemy fortification, and then proceed to blast its defences.

 

I agree that a frontal assault isn't what should come to mind first when talking about sieges, but this being 40k, I think it's safe to say that the Space Marines don't actually blockade an enemy fortress for weeks until their opponent begins to suffer from famine or sickness. ;)

 

"Throughout the Great Crusade, the Imperial Fists would be held in reserve waiting while other Legions pinned the enemy in position and identified the keystone of their defence. Inevitably, that position would then be shattered by the Fists. They were equally valuable when resolutely blocking, and often totally defeated enemy breakthroughs."

-- WD #259

 

That being said, having re-read their Index Astartes entry, it also mentions how the Fists are skilled at urban warfare, which is where (in addition to the Cover trait) I could see Bolter Drill making sense. Then again, this source describes them much more allround than your quote from the 6E codex. It is possible that GW started to retcon the Imperial Fists to bring the current edition tabletop version in line with what people remember from the Black Library Horus Heresy novels, rather than the "evolved" version that is presented in the older Index Astartes:

 

"In the immediate aftermath of the Heresy, the Imperial Fists became noticeably fiercer in their approach - attacking with virtually no reconnaissance and fighting on when a tactical withdrawal would have been wiser. With their adoption of the Codex Astartes, this tendency was less evident, although their determination was undiminished. Some of the more fanatical Battle Brothers had departed to become Black Templars - a Chapter on permanent crusade. Many of the more recent initiates, less rooted in the traditions and philosophy of the Fists, had departed to found the Crimson Fists. They quickly developed a reputation and a legacy of their own which was also a source of pride for the Imperial Fists. After the carnage of the Iron Cage, what remained was a hardened, veteran force fully able to embrace the concepts of the Codex Astartes.
 
Alongside the Ultramarines, the Imperial Fists have become the epitome of Codex doctrine. All ranks are able to make tactical decisions and are encouraged to act on initiative. The Imperial Fists combine all arms in flexible balanced battle groups each of which can present an opponent with a diversity of threats then press their attack so swiftly that the foe is overwhelmed before he can react. They retain their traditional skills in urban and siege warfare, although they are quite willing to engage and defeat the enemy in open battle. They will use fortifications on the defensive, but only after all more aggressive options have been exhausted. Their only weakness is perhaps a reluctance to accept the possibility of defeat that sometimes blinds them to risk."
 
This does read notably less unique (and, I admit, less interesting) than the version focused on siege warfare, which is probably also easier to represent in Deathwatch -- seeing as a more narrow focus can be better packaged into a small number of traits.
 
I still maintain that carefully aimed blasts of missile launchers and lascannons sound way more like "siege" than full-auto bolter bursts, though! Plus, this way you can preserve the latter for Chapters more focused on medium range combat, which is already problematic enough, as this is what most Space Marine Chapters do. Blame the Ultras! ;)

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Also: Rammstein. Songs like Spiel mit mir, Buck dig and (oh god) Man gegen man.

 

Fun fact, 9 out of 10 Evangelion music videos are made with a Rammstein song!

 

Some of them are rather creepy, though. I guarantee you, their impact is a lot greater if you understand the lyrics.

 

 

My german is a bit rusty, but I get most of it. (I know more than Shinji anyway. "Baumkuchen" LOL) Not that buck dig doesn't spell it out for you, especially live. ;)

 

Altough I prefer In extremo. Der galgen and spielmansfluch are awesome! Also Krummavisur, but I needed to look up a translation for that one. Middle high german isn't my forté.

 

 

I think the best thing about the EC I've heard so far is that they were grinding people down to dust after they had landed on Terra. Everyone else goes besieging the Imperial Palace, whilst these guys start rounding up civilians and, uh, distil them into something they can snort down. Very crass.

 

Not just  ground to drugs, the article mentions, "more immediate gratification":

 

My EC CSM Flavius the exalted was present at the siege of terra and one npc was so unwise to ask about it. Que me going on for 15 minutes about how "the siege was mostly Horus lil' show. The whole site was swarming with Iron warriors and World eaters. It was hard to geta bolter in edgewise.  And you can only watch the most spectacular siege ever before you feel the need to get intimate yourself. So with every other legionary trying to get into the palace I turned my squad around for some more imediate gratification. We considered heading towards Eternity spaceport to see the Death guard fight the Scars and then remembered how dull those guys can be. So we turned our attention to the nearby hab towers absolutly stocked full of nice human specimens to embrace into the loving fold of Slaanesh. We stalked the narrow corridors and small apartments looking for prey. So much more...intimate.  Face to face with the mewling mortals, giving them the exstacy of the flayer's knife.  And a bit of the ol' in out-in out. Screams like music with the bombardment at the palace as a driving bass beat on the background..."

 

My GM needed a drink after that. But hey, it's his fault. he asked ;)

 

 

 

That being said, it is worth noting that the Fists are also fortification experts, so perhaps in addition to a focus on siege, they could have also added some defensive trait?

 

 

Ah great, fortification: the more boring aspect of a siege. ;)

 

Space wolf: "What the- Why are you lugging all that stuff around? Building blueprints, 4 spools of barbed wire, 10 proximity mines, 50 gallons of rockrete mortar, and...are those plates of reinforced ceramite?"

 

Fist: "Don't gudge the way the sons of Dorn make war!"

 

Ultramarine: "See? this exactly why we had to go and get them at the battle of the iron cage! Or they would have been there still!"

Edited by Robin Graves

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I argue in favour of Bolter Drill especially because the Devastator training. Right now the Fists' advance table has one ranged combat talent, Eye of Vengeance, which adds various bonuses for single shots. Bolter Drill, adding +1 to the RoF, is probably more up the Devastators' alley. Not that a powerful single shot can't be useful with a lascannon, but blasting away on full auto is, for me, a distinctively Devastator-like activity.

 

Actually you don't even need the devastators.  Fists can be good shots with bolters becuz of Lysander.

 

http://www.dakkadakka.com/wiki/en/Captain_Darnath_Lysander

 

Bolter Drill: Lysander's unit can re-roll failed to-hit rolls with bolter shots (heavy/storm/bolter/pistols).

 

So this is either something all fists are good at or Lysander can specially train them in it. Either way it would make sense for your fist marine to have that.

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So this is either something all fists are good at or Lysander can specially train them in it. 

 

If it is something they'd all be good at, every unit in the army would have this skill. But the 5E codex lists it as a result of his experience as a Sergeant, and extending only to his own squad. Does the 6E 'dex give any rules for the Fists as an army?

 

Interestingly, Lysander also has the "Bolster Defences" special rule, by the way -- something normally only available to Techmarines, an ability to increase cover.

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Does the 6E 'dex give any rules for the Fists as an army?

 

6E Chapter Tactics for the Fists suggests all of them are good at it:

 

Bolter Drill: Models in this detachment may re-roll all To Hit rolls of 1 made with bolt pistols, boltguns, storm bolters, heavy bolters or combi-weapons that are firing as boltguns. This rule does not apply to Hellfire, Kraken, Vengeance or Dragonfire rounds.

Siege Masters: [Devastators and Centurion Devastators get the Tank Hunter special rule and add +1 on the Building Damage table]

 

I actually like the urban warfare specialist interpretation. It makes sense. Stay mobile, use cover, demolish enemy strongpoints, use the weird, futuristic technology to teleport in and neutralise command nodes - all that is actually logical. Just don't ask me to believe that six squads with a few METAL BAWKSES and two flyers can pacify a complete planet, or just a hive with millions or billions of inhabitants :D I like the Fists very much, but still, it's very hard to accept that guys in bright yellow armour pounding massive concrete walls using hand-held rocket launchers and maybe about five to ten tanks are the epitome of siege warfare :D

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Finally, I have a specific question: Is Phalanx any good?

 

 

That depends. If you like the Soul Drinkers series, read it. Because it ties up all the loose ends.

I'll be charitable and assume it was intended from the beginning, but even if not, it covers all the problems/plot holes in the earlier soul drinker books and finishes the series in a nicely epic way.

 

Note that it's primarily a soul drinker book, despite being set on the Fist's fortress. There is a lot of Lysander and Pugh, though, and it - along with the Sons of Dorn novel - is one of the reasons I really, really hate the Sentinals Of Terra fluff which essentially overwrote it all and re-used the exact same plot ideas but did it really badly.

 

In 6/7e all fists have the 'Bolter Drill' rule. The Sentinals of Terra - the company Lysander commands after he's demoted from First Captain for [reasons]* change this to 'Close Range Bolter Drill', which is different but on balance generally better.

 

 

 

* Until he learns a valuable life lesson about not being a pompous, vengeance-obsessed tool thanks to good advice from Captains Sicarius and Tycho. No, I'm not making that up. 

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Hmm, thanks - I thought it's a standalone. Oh well, the Soul Drinkers saga is still a blank spot for me, and I'll be stuck in the office around the holidays, so I'll try to make the most of it.

 

*Hopefully the Soul Drinkers and Pugh can provide some counterbalance to the incredible lameness you just described.  :o  While he's at it, does he learn the power of love, too? Blasphemy to use the inherent coolness that is Tycho like this - blasphemy, I say!

 

Also, besides the changes in TT rules, is Close Range Bolter Drill fluffed out differently?

Edited by musungu

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Yeah if you want afew marines to control an entire world you need these guys :D

 

C'mon, mate :D although they're at lest not afraid to get their hands dirty (or bloody, as it stands)

 

 

But in the fluff, and thats the WD, not the HH fluff, there is a line about how during the crusade, whole rebel planets turning back loyal at the mere possibility of the Night lords coming (back). Even the World Eaters or the Space wolves never had that kind of rep!

 

 

That night at the Victory feast of the rebellious planet Skaro:

 

Rebel governor: "Bwahahaha! Skaro is free again! Who does that upstart Emperor think he is! **** his eyes! **** his britches! **** his duck pond!"

 

Rebel sycopant: "Yes! And **** his legion of superhuman bastards! Murdering scum the lot of them! **** the Ni-"

 

Rebel minister: "Hush you fool! You're putting me of my appetite."

 

Lackey: "My lord, There is a most urgent message from the imperium for you sir! They wish to talk!"

 

Governor: "Ah they recognise our superiority! Put it on the speakers, vox only."

 

Governor: "This is governor Zorg, Who is this?"

 

Night Lord: "Mr. Shadow."

 

Governor:  "Mr. Sha-"

 

Night Lord: "I'm Commander of the Night Lords vessel Heart of Darkness."

 

Minister: "Ohshiohshiohshi-"

 

Night Lord: "I hear you have rebelled against the just rule of the Emperor and the Nighthaunter."

 

Governor: "No Wait! Please! We're loyal! We'll all be good! I swear! I'll resgin and submit to Imperial rule this instant!"

 

Night Lord: "We're comming back." -click-

 

Sycopant: "NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!"

 

Governor: "Well. We're dead."

Edited by Robin Graves

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