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Aenno

About game balance

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I've only played a little bit of TT, but I understand from a balance perspective Space Marines have to be somewhat on par with the troops of other factions. However, from a fluff perspective, they seem to be so much more than just the equal of a Sister of Battle or Stormtrooper or what have you. These are posthumans who have spent centuries training, fighting, and studying tactics. They are armored head to toe in the best, most advanced protection available, and given weapons that can blow a man to smithereens with one shot - and that is just the average Space Marine. 

 

Let's take the example of a Space Marine's ability to shoot ranged weapons. How does a regular person get really good at shooting? Practice, and probably quick reflexes and a good eye. Space Marines have had a lifetime of practice/field experience, inhumanly fast reflexes, and the eyes of an eagle.

 

Which is why it is hard for me to reconcile them into a game where they are expected to work with regular humans. While the Hierophant may be able to speak better or the Adeptus Mechanicum Adept could have a better grasp of technology, there are precious few unaltered humans who could even hope to match a Space Marine when it comes to combat or strength or toughness. 

 

If a regular, non-genetically modified human in carapace and a hotshot lasgun is the equal to a Space Marine, why even have Space Marines in the first place? If they aren't the Angels of Death, what are they?

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About ballistic skill... OK, if you want to look into TT. The best sharpshooters IG have are Ratlings. Years training, special equipment. They can outshoot space marine scout - BS 4 vs BS 3.

Every other space marine have BS 4. Assault marines included. Common IG conscript have BS 2. Normal IG warrior have BS 3. And, if we take Ultramarines as example, SM going to reroll any 1 rolled to shoot, and any tactical marine (bulk of marine forces) will reroll every miss just because their training. If SM are in shooting mood of course, they are not obliged to. Look into 6th ed codex if you don't believe me.

And stormtroopers who have their special guns designed to kill SM came with very stern training, and when they hit power armor they for sure breach it (ap 3). And in half times Space Marine will not ever notice it.

Space Marines ARE Warhammer poster boys. They are just good.

Thing is... Yup, normal human who is dedicated and stern and have some gods help (Emperor or Chaos, no matter) and have access to the best weaponary Humanity can offer can enter to the domain where SM starts.

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About ballistic skill... OK, if you want to look into TT. The best sharpshooters IG have are Ratlings. Years training, special equipment. They can outshoot space marine scout - BS 4 vs BS 3.

Every other space marine have BS 4. Assault marines included. Common IG conscript have BS 2. Normal IG warrior have BS 3. And, if we take Ultramarines as example, SM going to reroll any 1 rolled to shoot, and any tactical marine (bulk of marine forces) will reroll every miss just because their training. If SM are in shooting mood of course, they are not obliged to. Look into 6th ed codex if you don't believe me.

And stormtroopers who have their special guns designed to kill SM came with very stern training, and when they hit power armor they for sure breach it (ap 3). And in half times Space Marine will not ever notice it.

Space Marines ARE Warhammer poster boys. They are just good.

Thing is... Yup, normal human who is dedicated and stern and have some gods help (Emperor or Chaos, no matter) and have access to the best weaponary Humanity can offer can enter to the domain where SM starts.

 

Well, that's the issue: They aren't nearly as good as many of the Black Library authors suggest, or the way Fantasy Flight Games have chosen to represent them in the role playing games. Which is why there is the issue of game balance when they are introduced, as they highlight by default many of the shortcomings of the WH40k game line.

 

As for the Ratlings and Stormtroopers, that's where it gets interesting. There are whole planets full of Ratlings, and Stormtroopers are raised and trained on entire planets dedicated to the Schola Progenium. The equipment given to both is still far more numerous and easier to obtain than that of a Space Marine, their training being easier/less deadly than an Astartes, and the number of Ratlings and Stormtroopers far outnumber that of the Space Marines.

 

If a hobbit with a long-las is just as good as a Space Marine, why even go to the massive trouble of producing Space Marines?

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The AA-12 also sports some pretty basic-yet-ingenious recoil compensation that allows you to, for example, rock two of these guns at the same time. Perhaps this might help to accept that with future technology, a bolt weapon could be similarly "easy" to handle ... though personally, I'd still like it to have a little kick just for the heck of it. ^^

 

Well, that was amazing. Thanks for the link!

 

Now, this has nothing to do with recoil, but aesthetically everything the Imperium makes is bulky. Really bulky. Most problems are solved in a very orky manner. Not enough power? Attach more reactors. Not enough armor? Just frickin' smack some extra layers of ceramite on there. Not enough winning? Throw more IG at the problem! etc.

 

40k is nothing if not excessive and I think this is embodied by the Imperial approach to problem solving. I mean, maybe it's an accident, but ALL the weapons in the RPG are ridiculously heavy. For me that means that even if physics says gyrojet weapons don't actually have recoil, well, in 40k they dang well do!

 

However, lots of good points have been made here. It seems like Aenno and Lynata are arguing around each other a little though.

 

It's silly that there's a mechanical difference between SM items and non-SM items, when they should all just follow the same rules. Unnatural Attributes are pretty clunky and it's not clear what they're supposed to represent.

 

Dermal Armor is kind lame-o. It makes some sense, but it'd be cool if it got eaten away as you got more injured. First couple of hits are smaller, but wear you down. I think I'll explore this idea later.

Edited by Flail-Bot

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As per the 2E Wargear book, any and all bolt weapons have a slow launch speed.

 

Wargear don't speak for anybody using bolt weapons beside Orks and Space Marines. So do Wargear 4th - it's just not mentioning non-marine bolt weapons. They give stats, but not description. It's a pity.

Pity we haven't real speed too. Because... well, I don't like bolters at all.

 

 Or a lasgun, if we'd simply go with GW's version of the fluff and rules -- be it the Tabletop or d100 Inquisitor.

 

 

Yes, or a lasgun. With a very small chance.

It's called Zealous Hatred.

 

But .. they don't. In GW material, their Ballistic Skill can be matched or exceeded by Humans, and when they get the same or better weapons ... why must the Human be worse off?

 

Because they had worse training, two lifespan less to learn shooting, less combat experience, worse sight, worse coordination, worse reflexes, a lot of other things to do. Why MUSTN'T they? What have humans equal Space Marines in shooting?

GW material, be my guest. NOT Space Marine codex, not Black Library info, not FFG. The best GW fluff we can have at all. Core rulebook.

 
"Like Angels of Death, the superhuman Space Marines sweep into battle as if from nowhere, shattering their foe in ablaze of fire and death before leaving as abruptly as they came. The foremost of humanity's defenders, the Space Marines are revered across the Imperium. Their glorious deeds are venerated with shrines and monuments on civilised worlds, and they are treated as gods of battle on primitive planets. Although held in awe as Mankind's saviours, Space Marines inspire more fear than wonderment. They have always stood apart from those they protect, and of all the Imperium's seryants, they are the most fell-handed. They are death bringers, the deliverers of the Emperor's merciless judgement. Their sudden appearance speaks of calamity, and for Imperial citizens to catch a glimpse of a single Space Marine, even at a great distance, is a dire portent and most likely one of the last things they will ever see.
 
Space Marines are the most powerful of the Imperium's warriors and they are expected to accornplish almost impossible battlefield duties, lead vital assaults, confront the most horrendous of foes and hold their positions no matter how hopeless the odds. Though their numbers are not great, they are sufficient for any task. Space Marines are masters of the lightning assault, though they embrace any role required to achieve victory; they were made for war, trained for victory and are armed for battle. They have given up their very humaniry, nobly sacrificing that very thing they are dury bound to defend."
 
On a sidenote -- personally, I like to compare 40k boltguns to the AA-12 automatic shotgun. 12G is almost cal .75, and it can shoot explosive rounds as well! The only thing you'd still have to add would be the miniature rocket. 

 

Yup, and it's big thing.

Bolter prototype is Gyrojet, and, if you want to make it shoot autofire with decent speed... well, you really, really want to work on recoil.

In my opinion, though, bolter is seriously overrated. By setting again.

 

Well, that's the issue: They aren't nearly as good as many of the Black Library authors suggest, or the way Fantasy Flight Games have chosen to represent them in the role playing games.

 

BS 4 means 3+ to hit, and 1 on roll is miss for everybody.

But Space Marines can, if we take Ultramarines chapter who decided to go ranged, reroll 1. Snipers can't. Also common Space Marine can reroll any misses he have on shoot, snipers haven't.

Let me point it.

So. Where the best sharpshooters IG came, they hit on 3+.

Where is common Space Marine came, they hit on 3+, rerolls 1, rerolls 2. And where ratling doing it with specialized sniper rifle, Space Marine doing it with damned non-specialised rocket gun.

I can't say about Black Library authors, I didn't read them. But FFG believes common Space Marine hits in 60% at best (standard attack with max generated BS); I'd say it's nerf.

 

 

The setting provides a lot of conflict in that there is a disconnect between what many think of Space Marines (i.e., the Codex and TT) and what others think of Space Marines (Black Library/FFG). There isn't a way to reconcile that disconnect without a major rewriting one way or another, and no matter what, there isn't really a middle ground. They are either gods among men or just tougher, stronger, shock troops. 

 

 

Exactly. Personally I prefere Codex and TT version. I've cited it even in this post.

 

 

If a hobbit with a long-las is just as good as a Space Marine, why even go to the massive trouble of producing Space Marines?

 

 

Because hobbit is worse. See math above.
Storm trooper is worse too, by the same reason.
And yes, that's balanced for tabletop version, that's crunch, fluff using another expressions. "The most powerful of the Imperium's warriors", "they are expected to accornplish almost impossible battlefield duties", "superhuman abilities, peerless training and devastating weaponary".
You don't like that? Be my guest. But that's GW version.

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There are two approaches to making a good game.

 

1.  Balanced.

2.  Simulation

 

Dark Heresy falls more on the simulation side of things;it is an exhaustive simulation of 40k tropes.

 

Playing a balanced Dark Heresy like pathfinder would be fun too.

 

Asking any RP game to be balanced overall is a losing battle to some degree.  Video games struggle with balance and they have the ability to patch themselves within hours.  You either have a very simple exhaustively balanced game or a complex unbalanced game.

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I beg to differ. Just because FFG apparently can't do it does not mean other simulationist approaches are similarly imbalanced.

I want to ask again - which ones ARE balanced?

 

It's silly that there's a mechanical difference between SM items and non-SM items, when they should all just follow the same rules. 

 

Really, if really, they shouldn't.

Adeptus Astartes use bolt weapons optimised for their fightstyle, for their mass, for their bulk. So they need bolter shells to have decent muzzle speed and to babah!, so they use conventional methods to give a shell starting speed. Hi recoil. ****, legion bolter grip should be modified for handling it with Power Armor glove, not with human palm!

Edited by Aenno

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If I may weigh in on this. It makes logical sense to me that Space Marines would be superior to humans in almost every respect including shooting. [...] I will agree that it is not impossible persay for a human to achieve Space Marine levels of marksmanship (or even weapon skill), but they will never be better than anything beyond the lower end Space Marines.

 

These are posthumans who have spent centuries training, fighting, and studying tactics.

 

Yes, but then why should it be impossible to simply offer lower end Space Marines to go with higher end Humans to achieve balance? Like I said, there's an overlap in the stats provided by GW; we could use it if we wanted to.

 

Most Space Marines are tribals youths recruited from a backwater Feral world. They undergo the implantation process and become Scouts at age ~16-18, and fully-fledged Battle Brothers a decade or so later, depending on the Chapter and its current headcount (sometimes it can take far longer if the Chapter did not incur any losses that had to be replaced, sometimes it can happen sooner if they need to fill up the Reserve Companies).

 

That is 10-20 years of experience that can indeed be matched be veteran Human warriors, especially if they've grown up in a violent Hive. Battle Sisters and many Storm Troopers even start out with more military experience right away simply because they've started the drill at a much younger age in the Schola. Others may acquire these years of experience through decades of service in the Guard, etc.

 

The average Space Marine doesn't have "centuries of experience", just like the average Guardsman does not have decades of it. This is a dangerous exaggeration that would of course be incompatible with the aim of balancing. Arguably, it depends on the personal interpretation of the setting and one's preferred sources, but if we just WANT to go for a balanced approach, Games Workshop offers us the fluff to support it.

 

About ballistic skill... OK, if you want to look into TT. The best sharpshooters IG have are Ratlings. Years training, special equipment. They can outshoot space marine scout - BS 4 vs BS 3. Every other space marine have BS 4. Assault marines included. Common IG conscript have BS 2. Normal IG warrior have BS 3.

 

You're forgetting BS4 Veteran Guardsmen. Coincidentally the same archetype from GW's d100 Inquisitor game, who gets to roll the same dice for generating their Ballistic Skill as the Space Marine. And as Inquisitor points out, Veteran Guardsmen make for nice Inquisition agents.

Officers in the TT also don't seem to have much of a problem getting WS/BS 4.

 

And if you start to pick individual Chapters' special perks (which, unlike their stats, have a habit of changing every edition) for a discussion about all Marines, I reserve the right to go check if I can't find any nice IG special rules in Codex Catachans or a Formation Datasheet. :P

 

Wargear don't speak for anybody using bolt weapons beside Orks and Space Marines.

 

Since I've used the book to address your theory that Marine bolt weapons supposedly have a faster launch velocity, I don't think this has any relevance.

 

It's called Zealous Hatred.

 

Zealous Hatred is another gamey rule of the RPG. Silly because it doesn't make a difference between throwing a rock or shooting a lasgun here. Zealous Hatred also has a lower chance of occurring, and will deal (much!) less damage (a single point).

 

Compared to the TT or GW's Inquisitor game, you may as well not bother.

 

 

GW material, be my guest. NOT Space Marine codex, not Black Library info, not FFG. The best GW fluff we can have at all. Core rulebook.

 

None of what you quoted contradicts my position. All you've delivered with that block was a bunch of "awesome fighters" hype the likes of which you find in every army's codex, as I mentioned before. It's a bunch of hot air that does not really add anything to the discussion. I could find similar texts for the Battle Sisters, for Storm Troopers, for Inquisitors, Assassins, and so on. But what would that actually help? We're discussing physical properties here, not propaganda.

 

Yup, and it's big thing. Bolter prototype is Gyrojet, and, if you want to make it shoot autofire with decent speed... well, you really, really want to work on recoil.

 

Adeptus Astartes use bolt weapons optimised for their fightstyle, for their mass, for their bulk. So they need bolter shells to have decent muzzle speed and to babah!, so they use conventional methods to give a shell starting speed. Hi recoil. ****, legion bolter grip should be modified for handling it with Power Armor glove, not with human palm!

 

Bolters aren't gyrojets; they have a two-stage firing mechanism.

 

And just to point out the physics: bulk and weight actually reduce recoil. You've also omitted the bit about recoil compensation, which we already have in the real world, and which exists for 40k boltguns as well (see this chart and note how the blast compensators work on the same principle as a recoilless rifle).

 

None of GW's books ever mentioned recoil being a problem preventing people from shooting Astartes-grade weaponry, and outright said in a codex that there is at least one army using them, which obviously opens it up for any other Human as well. It's fine if you absolutely want it to be different for your interpretation of the setting, but if you do, please don't suggest that this is a limitation imposed by the original studio material.

 

 

It seems there's a lot of versions of Space Marines to go around, so it only comes down to whether we want to see them in Dark Heresy or not. If they are here, they should use the version that's somewhat balanced to Human characters, because every player deserves to have fun. And a 40k RPG without Space Marines feels like it'd lack something. For me, it's just that simple.

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I beg to differ. Just because FFG apparently can't do it does not mean other simulationist approaches are similarly imbalanced.

I want to ask again - which ones ARE balanced?

 

Out of those I've played? Well, it can generally be split into two categories. First one is where the core rules are balanced, the splats aren't, second one is where everything I've seen from it is internally balanced so that equal investment means equal power, except in differently applied ways.

 

Depending on which splats you use (!!!!) : GURPS, Shadowrun 4, The Witcher (up here because I haven't gotten ahold of the splats yet) ,WEG Star Wars (Now d6 space, d6 fantasy, etc.)

Generally well balanced: Buffy The Vampire Slayer/Conspiracy X(any unisystem game, probably; they all use the same rules), BRP/Call of Cthulu,  DSA4e, Unhallowed Metropolis, Traveller

Edited by DeathByGrotz

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I know. I know about mass reducing recoil. I know about two-stage mechanism, as you can see it's exactly what I says. "they use conventional methods to give a shell starting speed". Gyros don't have recoil at all, but, if you want them to have some decent speed on muzzle, you will use two-stage launch. And first stage will create recoil.

And no, bolter recoil compencer on scheme working on another principle.

How recoil works at all? Gases after shot are expanded to each direction. Normally it should compensate, of course (or explode), but we have shell  going forward. So gases affect backward, weapon kicks. Bad. So for recoilless rifle we create nice system - we just remain exit camera open, so, if we're clever enough to put a gun on a shoulder (pictures in that page shows it) gases backward don't hurt us. Later this system upgraded to rocket-propelled launcher with rocket jet going backwards. 

Is bolter operating that way? No. Because it's compensators are not in the back, but pointed upwards, so they helps to not throw gun up. Logical, when you need to use full-auto weapon that should not fly up each time. But it means weapon kicks. Maybe it will not kick hard for one bolt, but you have 3-4 for one trigger. Common bolter is one-barreled, so it means bolter have something about 40-60 bolts per minute. 

Well, you can believe it's backward as well. Then somebody who tries to shoot bolter without Power Armor gains burns by hot gases going out from back ports. I believe it's cost -20.

But (pointing the physics), deuterium is hydrogen with neutron, so it's some very powerful technosorcery, to make a gun shell using gas as a shell core. Especially depleted. Maybe that technosorcery rid recoil too.

 

But only if you don't take GW interpretation. For storm bolter recoil isn't rided - Index Astartes says us that Space Marine Terminators (!) have drop-off in accuracy due to the weapon ferocious recoil, and it's exactly the weapon that you posted, with same damage. 

 

About Inqusitor... every **** mutant from Underhive can fight better then Daemonhost. Or simple fanatic who can fight better that Drill Abbot. Or fanatics, enfoncers and said mutants who fight better then activated Arco-Flagellant. But even this system define Space Marine as "the most powerful and dreaded of all human warriors. In some respects they are not really human at all but super human - superior in almost every way to an ordinary man."

Let me notice. It's not some Space Marine codex. It's multi-archetypical source, that include Daemonhosts, IG Vets, Inquisitors, arch fanatics, assasins and others. You can find this type of texts in sources related to some faction, but for Space Marines it's universal books names them that way.

 

Of course you can tell it's only propaganda, and there is really nothing so special with this guys. But I recalling you're objecting same approach - when we take them too propaganded - to Adeptus Sororitas. Let's say all that speaks about their especial purity is just propaganda, really they are drinking wine and making sex; and let's name it "GW version", because, well, it's propaganda, we're speaking facts here.

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I really don't see the problem you are describing. People don't aim with their face directly over or behind a boltgun's mid-section (that would look pretty weird), and the compensator doesn't need to do anything more than counter at least a portion of the reflexive upward jerking motion that a shooter pulling the trigger would experience.
 
Let's recap: As per GW fluff, we have a short cal .75 projectile (3E rulebook) exiting the barrel at subsonic speed (2E wargear, 3E DW Kill Team). This is comparable to a modern day shotgun. Certainly, you are not suggesting Humans cannot operate shotguns?
 
You also seem to have difficulty accepting that a codex directly states that a Human army is issued with Astartes-grade weaponry by default.
 
If you believe that GW studio material would pose an obstacle to handing Marine-level weapons to Human characters, please cite a source. So far, you've only conjured assumptions based on real world problems that are just as easily compensated by real world technology that already exists right now (see the AA-12).

 

But only if you don't take GW interpretation. For storm bolter recoil isn't rided - Index Astartes says us that Space Marine Terminators (!) have drop-off in accuracy due to the weapon ferocious recoil, and it's exactly the weapon that you posted, with same damage.

 

Where exactly? The Index Astartes article as printed in WD #304 says no such thing -- the only place it mentions storm bolter is in the Armaments section.

 

"Terminator armour is designed to carry a variety of weapon fits, but the most common armament is a storm bolter and power fist. This configuration allows a Terminator to engage the enemy at long range while advancing and then to deliver a devastating assault with the deadly energies of a power fist - a weapon capable of tearing through the hull of a battle tank."

 

It sounds a bit silly, too, if you consider that Terminators can also carry assault cannons which would certainly shoot larger and heavier rounds at a much higher rate of fire. Certainly the armour must sport considerable platform stabilisation machinery.

 

About Inqusitor... every **** mutant from Underhive can fight better then Daemonhost. Or simple fanatic who can fight better that Drill Abbot. Or fanatics, enfoncers and said mutants who fight better then activated Arco-Flagellant. But even this system define Space Marine as "the most powerful and dreaded of all human warriors. In some respects they are not really human at all but super human - superior in almost every way to an ordinary man."

 

Daemonhosts and Drill Abbots aren't frontline fighters, and you are completely ignoring not only the Arco-Flagellant's superior Strength and Toughness but also its various Talents that would further boost its combat capabilities.

 

And again: I don't see anything in that quote that would contradict my position. Did I say Space Marines are not "the most powerful and dreaded of all human warriors"? No. Did I say they are not "superior in almost every way to an ordinary man"? No. But do note that it says "almost", and that it compares the Marines to "ordinary" men.

 

At this point, I don't know if you actually understood what I am suggesting here, or if I perhaps understood what you are suggesting. We seem to be talking past one another.

 

Of course you can tell it's only propaganda, and there is really nothing so special with this guys. But I recalling you're objecting same approach - when we take them too propaganded - to Adeptus Sororitas. Let's say all that speaks about their especial purity is just propaganda, really they are drinking wine and making sex; and let's name it "GW version", because, well, it's propaganda, we're speaking facts here.

 

You misunderstand. To me, there is a difference between well-described details such as accurate physical properties, cultural background, daily schedules, wargear descriptions ... and plain blather that consists of 90% colourful wording. Please, look back at the long quote you posted above and check for yourself how much it actually tells you about the Space Marines. Because the only solid thing it says about them is expectations. And expectations have a habit of sometimes not being fulfilled. That's why I said it added nothing to the debate. It did not address anything we were talking about.

 

And you have to see how a piece of information fits in with the greater setting propagated by the books as a whole -- every codex hypes its own army. This is why I like the TT stats; they are the most solid thing we have on how the armies are supposed to function, undiluted by romantic idolisation.

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Playing a balanced Dark Heresy like pathfinder would be fun too.

 

O.o

 

Are you saying that Pathfinder is a balanced game?

 

 

They put a lot of work into balance.  Listening to the players.  I don't enjoy playing PF, but I do appreciate that the community does spend a lot of time finding broken combinations and then the developers fix before the next edition.  It's a very functional well put together game.  They just have a toxic community.

 

Dark Heresy is very breakable, but that's ok to as it is going for a simulationist approach.

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Dark Heresy is very breakable, but that's ok to as it is going for a simulationist approach.

 

Can breakable rules not be counter to simulation, though? There have been a lot of interesting threads on certain talent or rule combinations, stacking bonuses, etc where the end result comes across as fairly unimmersive (depending on personal preference).

 

I think that perhaps a true simulation should not rely on special rules and exceptions so much. Dark Heresy has already evolved into the right direction, though -- just not as far as I'd like to see.

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Where exactly? The Index Astartes article as printed in WD #304 says no such thing -- the only place it mentions storm bolter is in the Armaments section.

 

 

Red Scorpions picture, "Terminator Squads" description. I have a mess with IA (there are couple of articles), so I'm not sure it's canonical just now. But, just in case, Terminators use Storm Bolters, that's said in any codex.
 
And cite from "Munitorum vol. I".
"The Space Marines are not the only warriors of the Imperium to carry boltguns into battle, but the version carried by the Adeptus Astartes, the MK Vb Godwyn pattern boltgun, is by far the largest and most devastating. By comparison, the smaller patterns of boltgun carried by the Adeptus Sororitas or the champions of the Imperial Guard are pale reflections. So large is the Godwyn pattern that no normal man could heft one, let alone survive its unforgiving recoil. A blessed creation of the Adeptus Mechanicus, the Godwyn pattern has served the Space Marines for millennia, its design based upon ancient STC technology from long before the birth of the Imperium."
Is it enough?
 
 
Let's recap: As per GW fluff, we have a short cal .75 projectile (3E rulebook) exiting the barrel at subsonic speed (2E wargear, 3E DW Kill Team). This is comparable to a modern day shotgun. Certainly, you are not suggesting Humans cannot operate shotguns?
 

 

First of all, we don't get "subsonic speed" in 2E wargear. We have "slow". I can't find cite in DW Kill Team, but I remember they have special type of bolter, with silencer and changed fire type.

Second, AA-12 have supersonic muzzle velocity.

Third, AA-12 is triumph of engeneery deliberally reducing recoil, that bolter haven't.

 

 Did I say Space Marines are not "the most powerful and dreaded of all human warriors"?

 

Ok, let's clarify. Space Marines ARE the most powerful and dreaded of all human warriors, but every guard vet is equal to them, because it's solid numbers? But everyone can be as powerful as the most powerful and dreaded human warrior are if he just try?

Thing is, Space Marines are actually optimised for war. For every type of war, not only melee or tanking - you like TT stats, so it's clear there. If we take variant with Tactical Marine just from scouts - so we have a warrior who is at least as good in shooting as some stormtrooper vet. And when stormtrooper gain his experience Space Marine gain his, and spending it to fight better.

I'm suggesting that Space Marine will always inherintly better in combat then same-age non-agumented human. Yup, human can be agumented, but if you just try to be as awesome as your SM buddy without very special efforts you're screwed. You can be powerful psyker, you can have army under your control, you can be favored by some Chaos God or you can be sorcerer in any kind (I just believe Rune Priests and Adepta Sororites are sorcerers, but it's kind of debatable). But in direct combat without any tricks SM will be better.

 

This is why I like the TT stats; they are the most solid thing we have on how the armies are supposed to function, undiluted by romantic idolisation.

 

Problem is TT stats optimized to system where every guardsman can survive direct hit from plasma weapon. At least now, when they removed rule "instadead if hitted with a weapon that's double your T", now weapon need to have such rule too. Plasma haven't. That's to the record to toughness dermal armor.

Yes. It's quite possible you hit SM with plasma gun, you breach his armor, you hit him and he stays alive. Same for guardsman. Why? because Toughness.

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One core flaw in your argumentation is the assumption a space marine can just take whatever fire he gets from a regular human. Thing is, the second you postulate "straight fight", the next thing someone is going to say is "equal weaponry", and that's where it all falls apart. Of course a guardsman is going to die if all he has is a lasgun against a space marine. No one's debating that. But let him be a weapon specialist with a plasma gun or similar, and things suddenly look very, very different. Then it's a matter of "he who shoots first and hits".

 

But if you're going to insist on bringing the RPG into it, well, two weapon fighting (ranged), recoil gloves, arm-mounted meltaguns. Welcome to the inquisiton.

 

That inquisitorial overkill from an ordinary, unaugmented human aside, an imperial guard veteran is a human being who has survived a basic battle strategy that amounts to him being expendable cannon fodder in a firing line, and done so repeatedly, against eldar, necrons, orkz or even tyranids. It is entirely fair to say someone who has survived that can take on a space marine in a firefight. They've already killed far worse.

 

In closing, here's a fun fact: Catachans are also 'ordinary unaugmented humans'.

Edited by DeathByGrotz

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No one's debating that. But let him be a weapon specialist with a plasma gun or similar, and things suddenly look very, very different. Then it's a matter of "he who shoots first and hits".

 

...and when we're using TT it's not defined.

 

But, well, on equal weapons we have more agility, more perception, better reflexes, better eye-hand coordination and better training with SM, who is recruted from not-so-peaceful world (something about Catachan, yes), genemoded, indoctrinated, fighted space marine missions for a decade or even more. On equal weapons matters who is better warrior - and the best warriors Imperium have are Space Marines, I believe we're agree in this.

 

Thing is guardsmen who fight against eldar, necrons, orkz or even tyranids and lives is great hero, let's save him until he didn't die at last. For Space Marine it's came with job! He starts with such fights. And he expected to win, not just live.

Or you can say that SM are overstated, Imperium have throw away great resourses for Space Marines and all that "best warrior humanity can offer" is propaganda. Yup, you can - but don't call it "GW vision".

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They put a lot of work into balance.  Listening to the players.  I don't enjoy playing PF, but I do appreciate that the community does spend a lot of time finding broken combinations and then the developers fix before the next edition.  It's a very functional well put together game.  They just have a toxic community.

 

The PF I know is literally Angel Summoner & BMX Bandit so, please, tell me about all the effort Paizo put into creating a balanced game.

 

(no contention that their community is toxic)

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Red Scorpions picture, "Terminator Squads" description. I have a mess with IA (there are couple of articles), so I'm not sure it's canonical just now.

 

What book or magazine are you looking at, exactly? I don't see a Red Scorpions picture -- I also checked the Index Astartes book reprint (volume III), and whilst there's a couple pictures of Terminators, none of them is from the Red Scorpions, and there isn't any text to them aside from the Chapter name.

 

And Munitorum is a Black Library publication, like the novels.

 

Why should Marine guns have more recoil if they are heavier and shoot the same ammo? It only makes sense if you disregard the codex fluff.

 

First of all, we don't get "subsonic speed" in 2E wargear. We have "slow". I can't find cite in DW Kill Team, but I remember they have special type of bolter, with silencer and changed fire type.

 

Second, AA-12 have supersonic muzzle velocity.

Third, AA-12 is triumph of engeneery deliberally reducing recoil, that bolter haven't.

 

There is nothing in GW's material that suggests boltguns do not have some form of recoil compensation. Now you are assuming -- why do you want to introduce an artificial obstacle?

 

 

As for DW Kill Teams .. it's not a special bolter ("a normal bolter equipped with an M40 targeter with autosense link and Stalker silenced shells"), but rather a matter of the gas cartridge round it fires. However, after re-reading the article, I can't find the passage I was looking for, so either I misremembered or it was in another source, so I'll drop the subsonic claim until I manage to find it again.

 

Ok, let's clarify. Space Marines ARE the most powerful and dreaded of all human warriors, but every guard vet is equal to them, because it's solid numbers? But everyone can be as powerful as the most powerful and dreaded human warrior are if he just try?

 

You were making a claim that in GW's version of the setting, Guardsmen can't rival Marines in ranged combat -- something that was easy to disprove by pointing at GW's own books. This doesn't change that Guardsmen have some very obvious shortcomings in other areas, starting with their wargear. What it does do is show is an example where Human characters can have an overlap with Marine characteristics that could form the basis of a balanced ruleset for mixed parties.

 

Thing is, Space Marines are actually optimised for war. For every type of war, not only melee or tanking - you like TT stats, so it's clear there. If we take variant with Tactical Marine just from scouts - so we have a warrior who is at least as good in shooting as some stormtrooper vet. And when stormtrooper gain his experience Space Marine gain his, and spending it to fight better.

 

I don't see the problem here; when they spend their XP on the same thing, what would it change about the balance between them?

 

Problem is TT stats optimized to system where every guardsman can survive direct hit from plasma weapon. At least now, when they removed rule "instadead if hitted with a weapon that's double your T", now weapon need to have such rule too. Plasma haven't. That's to the record to toughness dermal armor.

 

Yes. It's quite possible you hit SM with plasma gun, you breach his armor, you hit him and he stays alive. Same for guardsman. Why? because Toughness.

 

This isn't a problem either. The TT uses an abstracted depiction of injuries, so when you see a "Toughness save", it simply means the target was injured, but not to a degree that would take them out of the fight. The rulebooks actually point this out all the time.

 

You could interpret this in a number of ways -- perhaps the plasma blast was a glancing hit and only gave them 3rd degree burns on one arm, or perhaps the armour stopped enough of the attack that what still got through only injured them slightly.

 

Interestingly, by the way, plasma weapons in the TT don't care whether the target is a Space Marine or a Guardsman when it compares their Toughness; it's a 2+ either way.

 

But, well, on equal weapons we have more agility, more perception, better reflexes, better eye-hand coordination and better training with SM, who is recruted from not-so-peaceful world (something about Catachan, yes), genemoded, indoctrinated, fighted space marine missions for a decade or even more. On equal weapons matters who is better warrior - and the best warriors Imperium have are Space Marines, I believe we're agree in this.

 

Thing is guardsmen who fight against eldar, necrons, orkz or even tyranids and lives is great hero, let's save him until he didn't die at last. For Space Marine it's came with job! He starts with such fights. And he expected to win, not just live.

Or you can say that SM are overstated, Imperium have throw away great resourses for Space Marines and all that "best warrior humanity can offer" is propaganda. Yup, you can - but don't call it "GW vision".

 

Okay. Let's look at a few numbers, just to see how the people at Games Workshop are actually statting such characters ...

 

Numbers with an underline are marking characteristics where a Human character is matching or exceeding the following Veteran Space Marine:

 

Captain Artemis, Deathwatch Space Marine
  • Weapon Skill: 75
  • Ballistic Skill: 75
  • Strength: 200
  • Toughness: 150
  • Initiative: 85
  • Willpower: 75
  • Sagacity: 75
  • Nerve: 95
  • Leadership: 75
Sgt. Dorian Black, Imperial Guard Veteran
  • Weapon Skill: 73
  • Ballistic Skill: 79
  • Strength: 60
  • Toughness: 66
  • Initiative: 49
  • Willpower: 60
  • Sagacity: 68
  • Nerve: 74
  • Leadership: 65
Sgt. Toothpick Murke, Imperial Guard Veteran
  • Weapon Skill: 52
  • Ballistic Skill: 88
  • Strength: 58
  • Toughness: 65
  • Initiative: 73
  • Willpower: 63
  • Sagacity: 51
  • Nerve: 69
  • Leadership: 48
Ivixia Dannica, Demon Huntress
  • Weapon Skill: 87
  • Ballistic Skill: 75
  • Strength: 61
  • Toughness: 66
  • Initiative: 73
  • Willpower: 86
  • Sagacity: 84
  • Nerve: 87
  • Leadership: 89
Witch Hunter Tyrus
  • Weapon Skill: 98
  • Ballistic Skill: 85
  • Strength: 62
  • Toughness: 58
  • Initiative: 75
  • Willpower: 83
  • Sagacity: 79
  • Nerve: 95
  • Leadership: 89
To me, this looks like a fairly clear result. What makes Space Marines so great is their versatility: they spend a considerable time training in all manner of roles and all types of combat. I'm sure you know their progression from Scout to Devastator to Assault to Tactical. What this means is that they are essentially Jacks of all Trades, Masters of None. It provides them with the ability to adapt to changing circumstances in a flash. But at the same time, it seems to allow Human characters who focus on certain disciplines to surpass them there.
 
And this is where our hypothetical gameplay balance can come into being. If we'd just let it, and work with what GW's own material is providing us with. Which means equal wargear, and a chance for Humans surpassing Marines in certain categories.
 
... by the way, are you aware that codex fluff has it that Colonel Straken strangled a CSM Lord to death with a barbed root?

 

I just believe Rune Priests and Adepta Sororites are sorcerers, but it's kind of debatable

 

Rune Priests, probably, but as per GW's Inquisitor, Sororitas Acts of Faith have nothing to do with psychic powers, and indeed the 3E codex version of the Shield of Faith special rule had them negate even beneficial psychic powers from allied psykers due to subconscious willpower-based resistance.

Edited by Lynata

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What book or magazine are you looking at, exactly? I don't see a Red Scorpions picture -- I also checked the Index Astartes book reprint (volume III), and whilst there's a couple pictures of Terminators, none of them is from the Red Scorpions, and there isn't any text to them aside from the Chapter name.

 

 

As I say I don't recall - it's kind of prints so I dismissing the claim about that book.
But Munitorium is GW material, even if distributed by BL. 
A GAMES WORKSHOP LTD PUBLICATION
Published in 2013 by Games Workshop Ltd., Willow Road, Nottingham, NG7 2WS, UK
© Games Workshop Limited, 2013. All rights reserved.
© Copyright Games Workshop Limited 2013, Games Workshop, the Games Workshop logo, GW, Warhammer, Warhammer 40,000, the Warhammer 40,000 logo, the Aquila logo, 40K, 40,000, Citadel, the Citadel Device, Munitorum, and all associated marks, logos, names, places, characters, creatures, races and race insignia, illustrations and images from the Warhammer 40,000 universe are either ®, TM and/or © Games Workshop Ltd 2013 variably registered in the UK and other countries around the world. All Rights Reserved.
British Cataloguing-in-Publication Data. A catalogue record for this book is available from the British Library. Pictures used for illustrative purposes only.
ISBN 978-1-78253-447-1
No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise except as expressly permitted under license from the publisher.
This is a work of fiction. All the characters and events portrayed in this book are fictional, and any resemblance to real people or incidents is purely coincidental.
Find out more about Games Workshop’s world of Warhammer and the Warhammer 40,000 universe at:
blacklibrary.com/games-workshop-digital-editions
Licensing details and terms of use can be viewed at the following:
Games Workshop Ltd - 20.12.13

 

That's full last page.

 

 

This isn't a problem either. The TT uses an abstracted depiction of injuries, so when you see a "Toughness save", it simply means the target was injured, but not to a degree that would take them out of the fight. The rulebooks actually point this out all the time.

 

 

Yes, that's just it. TT is very abstracted. That's why it's difficult to me to take it's numbers as a harded rule, but just as the abstractized guideline.
 
What this means is that they are essentially Jacks of all Trades, Masters of None.

 

Thing is by fluff they are Masters of all Trades. And your own numbers show it - they have 75/75 BS and WS.

 

 

Numbers with an underline are marking characteristics where a Human character is matching or exceeding the following Veteran Space Marine:

 

 

Let's add Daemonhosts to this picture.
Daemonhost, by 3rd edition Daemon Hunter codex, have such profile:
WS: 4 | BS: 4 | S: 6 | T: 4 | W: 4 | I: 4 | A: d6 | Ld: 9 | Sv: 4+
Psy powers are BEYOND this list and not included. Such as regeneration or ADDITIONAL S and T.

 

To compare let's take 3rd edition Space Marine. Terminator Squad.

WS: 4 | BS: 4 | S: 4 | T: 4 | W: 1 | I: 4 | A: 2 | Ld: 9 | Sv: 2+

It's valid because it's 3rd Edition era - 3rd edition rulebook was published in 1998, Inquisitor Rulebook - in 2001, Daemon Hunter - 2003.

 

So Daemonhost should be harder in combat as Space Marine is. It's solid - they're daemons after all. Ok, opening Inquisitor. Cherubael.

  • Weapon Skill: 51
  • Ballistic Skill: 53
  • Strength: 55
  • Toughness: 55
  • Initiative: 53
  • Willpower: 91
  • Sagacity: 101
  • Nerve: 96
  • Leadership: 28

So a creature that should, by it's raw power, be equal or even more powerful (more Str, more wounds) in melee that Space Marine, is not even close. I believe there happens some kind of misunderstanding between developers, but I don't know for sure. And, well, we have a null who have leadership equal common cult leader. So it's not so easy for me to take this numbers as fluff-overriding sourse.

But if it wasn't I'd show how SM is better here I'd point you on Rocks Steady Aim and Deadeye shot. It means, as I can understand, that's he have effective 101 BS for every shoot he take. Not bad really; have that guards so? I believe I don't remember have I their books or not.

 

 

Rune Priests, probably, but as per GW's Inquisitor, Sororitas Acts of Faith have nothing to do with psychic powers, and indeed the 3E codex version of the Shield of Faith special rule had them negate even beneficial psychic powers from allied psykers due to subconscious willpower-based resistance.

 

 

Ah, but it's a point - they're sorcerers, not psykers. They're channeling warp power, but not as psykers do, something closer to Waaaaagh; TT don't make this distinction, but I saw it in some older fluff, don't recall where exactly (they explained you're not obliged to be a psyker to summon daemons). But its totally another topic.

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The biggest weakness of any rules-heavy game is that it is impossible to have a rule for every single situation that may come up. The issue with that, then, is human error will invariably mean there will be holes or place that can be broken. Mechanical systems encourage mechanical play, and what better way to better yourself mechanically than doing the best combination possible? 

 

You either have to house-rule bits that are susceptible to exploit (which in my opinion, anger players who prefer to play by the rules) or ramp up the challenge, which can also make people feel like you are just trying to kill them off. Either way, it's a damned if you do, damned if you don't situation for the GM. 

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^ Yes, well put. At the same time, it's this attention for detail that is also so attractive about these games..

 

Although I'd say that another good approach would be for a rules-lite system that enables the GM to easily whip up specialised mechanics on the fly to increase the simulation aspect whenever needed. Less crunch, more storytelling. For example, like the Dragon Age P&P, where players are encouraged to add their own skill ideas.

 

 

But Munitorium is GW material, even if distributed by BL. 

 

It's the same with the novels.

 

They're all official, of course -- you just have to choose which interpretation to adopt; the GW studio, or that of the authors working on the various books that Black Library is putting out. In the end, Munitorum seems to contradict the codex, so what are you going with? Or would you prefer to find an explanation why Sororitas guns still perform the same?

 

Yes, that's just it. TT is very abstracted. That's why it's difficult to me to take it's numbers as a harded rule, but just as the abstractized guideline.

 

A guideline that is still very clear when it comes to comparing characteristics, and the numbers say that someone is, for example, either below, on par, or above Space Marine standards.

 

 Thing is by fluff they are Masters of all Trades. And your own numbers show it - they have 75/75 BS and WS.

 

Arguably, that's not the cap. Human characters are capable of exceeding them in either.

 

So a creature that should, by it's raw power, be equal or even more powerful (more Str, more wounds) in melee that Space Marine, is not even close. I believe there happens some kind of misunderstanding between developers, but I don't know for sure. And, well, we have a null who have leadership equal common cult leader. So it's not so easy for me to take this numbers as fluff-overriding sourse.

But if it wasn't I'd show how SM is better here I'd point you on Rocks Steady Aim and Deadeye shot. It means, as I can understand, that's he have effective 101 BS for every shoot he take. Not bad really; have that guards so? I believe I don't remember have I their books or not.

 

You're forgetting some of the special abilities that Daemonhosts can get in Inquisitor. Cherubim as an individual example "only" has Invulnerable, which doubles Toughness against any hits made against arms, legs or abdomen, but Daemonhosts in general can also have Impervious, which would prevent it from ever suffering more than one injury level from any single attack regardless of its strength.

 

Given how the TT and Inquisitor were written by the same people, I assume the Daemonhost in the codex is supposed to be some sort of amalgamation or middle ground between any of the individuals that could be created in Inquisitor.

 

As for Rock Steady Aim and Deadeye Shot ... apart from these being active actions rather than passive bonuses (Rock Steady Aim means you don't lose your Aim action bonus even if you move, and Deadeye Shot only means you can adjust the hit location), it's worth pointing out that only Artemis has them. By default, Space Marines in Inquisitor get the following three perks: Ambidextrous, Nerves of Steel, Spit Acid. Oh, and an Initiative bonus if they're in power armour. That's it.

 

Ah, but it's a point - they're sorcerers, not psykers. They're channeling warp power, but not as psykers do, something closer to Waaaaagh; TT don't make this distinction, but I saw it in some older fluff, don't recall where exactly (they explained you're not obliged to be a psyker to summon daemons). But its totally another topic.

 

"No Adepta Sororitas character will ever have psychic powers of any sort."

-- GW Inquisitor

 

Sorcerer magic and the Ork Waaagh field are still psychic powers (e.g. 4E Codex Orks, p. 36: "Weirdboyz are the most psychically powerful of all Orks. They act as a focal point for the psychic energy subconsciously generated by their greenskin comrades, energy that binds them together with a common purpose."); they're just going other ways about accessing it.

 

Codex fluff makes it pretty clear that, in GW's version of the setting, Acts of Faith are merely a mixture of hard training, willpower and sheer coincidence. It's the Sisters' placebo effect, if you will. Probably inspired by the same thing that inspired the Hulk comics. Miraculous only to the unschooled, as the 3E Codex Witch Hunters puts it.

 

I have a feeling you're only trying to yank my chain here, though. ;)

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^ Yes, well put. At the same time, it's this attention for detail that is also so attractive about these games..

 

Although I'd say that another good approach would be for a rules-lite system that enables the GM to easily whip up specialised mechanics on the fly to increase the simulation aspect whenever needed. Less crunch, more storytelling. For example, like the Dragon Age P&P, where players are encouraged to add their own skill ideas.

 

Games can have an attention to detail that doesn't mean a good 100 pages of rules to try and memorize - just look at how Numenera works. That's the sort of game I have found myself leaning towards. It is better for a GM to add things to a game when and where it is needed, rather than try to ignore or patch up written rules. The point is ROLE playing, not ROLL playing - a distinction I think has been lost by many. 

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They're all official, of course -- you just have to choose which interpretation to adopt; the GW studio, or that of the authors working on the various books that Black Library is putting out. In the end, Munitorum seems to contradict the codex, so what are you going with? Or would you prefer to find an explanation why Sororitas guns still perform the same?

 

 

First of all, nothing really "official". :)
Second. Munitorum is GW studio works, published, as e-book, through Black Library. Also Codexes are, so, are they "same with the novels" too? For Black Library works there is notification "A Black Library publication", that's on the masthead - such as "Xenology" or "Imperial Infantryman Uplifting Primer". Munitorum is "A GAMES WORKSHOP LTD PUBLICATION", so it's same official as every codex. It's contains rules after all.
So explanation is simple. Sororitas guns are not preform the same, but for TT level of abstractization "S: 4" is enough. They are qualitatively better then lasgun or autogun (and looks like use same ammo), and worse then, let's say, heavy flamer, so do Astartes bolters. Everything inside isn't really matter for TT proporses. Modern .12 shotguns are different too after all.
 
You're forgetting some of the special abilities that Daemonhosts can get in Inquisitor. Cherubim as an individual example "only" has Invulnerable, which doubles Toughness against any hits made against arms, legs or abdomen, but Daemonhosts in general can also have Impervious, which would prevent it from ever suffering more than one injury level from any single attack regardless of its strength.

 

Oh, Daemonhosts in TT can have special abilities too.

 

 

Given how the TT and Inquisitor were written by the same people, I assume the Daemonhost in the codex is supposed to be some sort of amalgamation or middle ground between any of the individuals that could be created in Inquisitor.

 

 

Thing is by Inquisitor rules by RAW you can't have a daemonhost with WS 75, BS 75, S 300, T 150 and I 85. And psy/special abilities beyond it. I want to point once more that it's not about their ADDITIONAL powers, that every one should have too.
Yes, it can be possible that it's kind of overriding rules guidelines to create powerful daemonhosts according to fluff. But it's my point here as is - fluff can hardly differ with crunch, especially when you're making tactical wargame that players play for win. Even if they should to create narrative as designer wanted.
And no. Inquisitor core book was written by Gav Thrope, where autors of Daemon Hunter 3rd - Andy Chambers, Phil Kelly and Graham McNeil - was play testers. 

 

 It's the Sisters' placebo effect, if you will.

 

To be honest I don't like it. When your faith and faith only stops plasma bolt (Spirit of the Martyr) it's not just placebo. Also if you can dispell enemy psy powers you should manipulate warp somehow or be blank, shouldn't you?

But it's really totally another subject.

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