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Lucas Adorn

Final Sanction Feedback [Wanted]

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 First, the hordes can take too much time to dispatch. Second, I took us 4 hours to "complete" the Portica District, and that was only because all the freed PDF's from the PDF base were sent to the Space Port in order to keep things in check until the marines arrived from the last location.

They can? The Devastator should be able to force a Break test with a single Full Auto salvo...

 

Third, the Apothecary is useless in most of the outdoor fights: the enemies don't reach him. Also, the first fight near the chapel is awfully bad presented: in the horde profile, it reads the horde moves 18 meters per round. However, in the "bunker" turning point it says they need only 5 turns to run through the 200m killzone...

Quite interesting... it should indeed be about ten rounds instead of five. One should probably increase the time or decrease the distance indeed.
By the way, why should the apothecary be useless? He's got a bolt pistol with a maximum range of 120 metres as well as a chain sword and a pair of legs, has he not?

 

Fourth: more detail was required to the hordes. After all, it's the new component in the rulebook (almost all of the rest comes from Dark Heresy without any trouble at all), and no mention of what to do after an horde breaks down and flees is quite strange (personally, I ended fusing broken hordes for later use).

Um... as you noted, a broken horde flees. It's no longer mechanically relevant. Personally, I'd leave it up to the players whether they give chase (in which case I'd narrate how they pretty much slaughter them to the last man) or stand their ground (in which case the survivors will likely vanish into the rests of the civilian populace or be partially absorbed by the next few hordes, though I wouldn't make them bigger for it). In game terms, a broken horde ceases to exist - at least until the game actually comes out and we'll likely get some mechanic for restoring a unit. Incorporating broken hordes into later combats may be why your game got bogged down though.

 

Fifth: the marine distribution of roles. As adressed before, I found quite strange to see the Blood Angel as the ranged specialist and the Dark Angel as the melee one. Not to mention, my players directly tossed aside the DA because of their "animosity" with the Space Wolves, and the Ultramarine being an Apothecary instead of a Tactical marine was strange, specially being that one the "clonable" one (the new player said something about not existing Tactical Marines in the SW, also, pointing that the most close to that would be "Grey Hunters" or something like that); fortunately, the additional characters provided two extra tactical marines, one of them an ultramarine. However, the players chose Apothecary, StormWarden, Devastator and Space Wolf.

I'd assume that the switch of the Angels was precisely to show that the characters don't have to take the stereotypical roles of their chapters.

 

Finally, the character sheets were awfully bad designed, they could have had a weapons and gear description in the back or something like that. I had to dictate the weapons profiles and the armor's characteristics, and that took time.

Yes, those could certainly have been handled better, though writing the stats of the gear in a document once and printing it out for the players probably wouldn't have been that hard either - what was on the backs of the sheets anyway? Nothing? 

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with regards to the space wolf 'tactical' marine a grey hunter is for all intends and purposes the same thing just a fancy name happy.gif and as it would take up to much room to add a list of alternate names used i can see why they have plumped for the most common used one. my group loved the lack of stereo typing as it made in there eyes a more interesting game. just starting the second part  this weekend hopefully will go ok .

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So far, my group has enjoyed the mission. We love the horde rules, giving the space marines a awe of superhuman power.  The Genestealers are nasty if they catch you by surprise, but that is the way they have been since the oringal miniature game and board games were made. The only thing I would like is a map for the adventure but am happy with one that one of the other GM's posted.

For a summarized rules and characters, I think this mission is really good.

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Well, I think the main problem came from the devastator's player choosing the wrong set of dices. He kept rolling in the 80 to 95 segment of rolls for nearly the whole session. His best shot was a twenty-something at 160 meters or so, which were about 14 points rolled off one horde.

The problem with the apothecary's weapon was just he had no way to reach a firing position: 120 meters of max range meant the hordes needed (at least in the first battle) about 4 turns to reach his position. And no, he would not charge (weel, he did it once, screaming "the codex doesn't allow this!" or something similar to the Space Wolf because he charged against the melee Turning Point. In the end, the Apothecary cut the rebel in two and took the SW back into the fortifications). Probably no one wanted to charge because in the first salvo I got an 01 to impact with an horde which also rolled nearly 25 points of damage to the Storm Warden (9 points of damage) just with the 3d10+3; stub rifles ftw!

 

Changing a little the topic, is it possible to get a browser-based version of the adventure? I'll probably play it again, and I prefer to use my notebook computer, but the poor thing as really hard troubles loading all the document with all that fancy details. And the possibility to hyperlinks into certain positions would have been wonderful.

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 We played the first half last night (my players landed, cleaned out the chapel area, made it to the governer (who they bullied into handing over a regiment of guard and some armour), secured the tower of echoes and fought their way to the bridge to the spaceport (including a memorable moment where the Blood Angel had magnatised his boots and was riding a Leman Russ into battle). Next session hopefully they'll clear out the space port and get down to hunting some stealers.

Generally speaking, we all loved the rules system. although that can be taken with a pinch of salt because I was running hordes wrong (applying a point of damage to their magnitude for every point they exceeded the hordes damage resistance by) and skill checks wrong (applying the attribute bonus to EVERYTHING). Next session's gonna be a lot harder on them lengua.gif

Room for improvement:

  • The demeanour text on the pregenerated characters in the Final Sanction PDF (but not the bonus extra ones) and all of the notes for GM's sidebars, they print VERY washed out, I had to copy out the text by hand for the character sheets.
  • My players felt a little directionless at the beginning, pretty much my fault because I could have done a better job with the objectives. But the Assassin hasn't the authority to command them, so she can't just say THIS IS YOUR PRIMARY OBJECTIVE and there wasn't time in orbit to hand that information out. In future I think I'll brief my players in warp transit.

Other than that, awesome so far, we'll see if they survive the broodlord....

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Had a blast with this adventure, but it took us two, four-hour sessions to finish. I like that it was more of an adventure than a one-shot.

Since all of us came from a tabletop background, I used our store's terrain, IG models for PDF and Cultists, and tyranids for the bad guys (yay! Store copy of Space Hulk and speed-painting!), and ran the battles more or less abstractly but used a 1/100 scale for movement (ie 1cm = 1m). It worked very well. Hordes were measured in 5 to 10 Units/model, so visually the kill team could keep track of their progress.

One of our players painted some marines and customized them with weaponry and shoulder insignia to represent the kill-team.  I have to track these guys down for the pictures...

The best battle of day 1 was the fight in the tower. Day 2 had two great instances. The genestealer ambush in the Fabrica tunnels cost the apothecary his arm (Perma-Fate Point usage) while the Broodlord fight saw this Space Marine charge at the broodlord after  it was blown backwards by bolter fire, and slay it in melee combat with Righteous Fury.

 

 

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id_doomer said:

 

 

  • My players felt a little directionless at the beginning, pretty much my fault because I could have done a better job with the objectives. But the Assassin hasn't the authority to command them, so she can't just say THIS IS YOUR PRIMARY OBJECTIVE and there wasn't time in orbit to hand that information out. In future I think I'll brief my players in warp transit.

I think that the primary objectives should be clear to the party as the game starts. They're sent there for something specific and would know what it is ahead of time. They may not have the "Broodlord" bit yet, but "eliminate Genestealer infestation/threat" should be a mission goal. Contact the Inquisitor should be a no-brainer.

The assassin does a great job of adding in the details. She can provide information on where the PDF needs assistance and 'gently' suggest that if the kill-team's planning on going up against whatever infestation they find they could use backup, likewise make it clear that some choke points/groups they confront require more bodies than just their augmented numbers to defeat.

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I ran it for three of my friends over last weekend. We got a good 12 hours of play out of it and there were still some areas they never reached. Everyone had a blast and the game managed to peg the marines as superhuman badasses but still make the world about them a dangerous place where cleverness and strategy were needed to compliment the bolter and chainsword.

I agree that the apothecary was a little weak but his ability to restore wounds was vital in the long term. I allowed him to pick up a flamer when they captured the stores and that made him a little more useful. In an urban environment: planning, enhanced senses and the ability to kick down a wall can make up for being outranged by your enemies guns. 

The Hordes were very well executed. I did feel that perhaps combat against hordes should occur on a different timeframe to individual combats ( a la Pendragon battle rounds perhaps) to allow a more narrative feel to how far the marines can move and how many enemies they can engage. Perhaps when there is a heroic opportunity to duel an enemy general you could then break down into the 5 second round. Even so this is a minor concern and I can still see a strong argument for keeping everything on the same timescale.

The genestealers were really deadly and could scythe through a marine in a round or two. This made for real tension in a few places. Though overwatch rules had been left out of the quickstart I felt it fitting that marines should use this time-honoured tactic to destroy genestealers. It was the only way to bypass their 70% dodge chance as you cannot use reactions on your own turn! There were several occasions when one marine had to ignore a genestealer chaarging his back to maintain his overwatch on a tunnel or vent hoping that his trusted battle brother would take care of the xeno. Tension and drama. 

The brood lord was a real monster. If he had had the dodge skill it would have been nearly unwinnable - given how wounded the marines were at this stage - so I can see why he did not have it. Even so by the end of everything the kill team had burnt three fate points and had 2 level 7s and a level 8 crit. A fifty point righteous fury from  the blood angel with his bolt-pistol sealed the deal.   

In conclusion I must say that I was pleasantly surprised. I expected Deathwatch to be very combat focused (and so came into this with low expectations)but was unprepared for how engaging that focus would be. It is a little like Quake the RPG meets Pendragon. I am looking forward to running the sequel and will definitely be picking up the full rulebook as soon as it is out. The artwork is top-drawer as well.

Good job FFG. Easily the best value I ever got from a gaming product.

 

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 I have a question on Final Sanction.  With the fact that there are 6 chapters in DW and 6 pre-gen characters released, why would you duplicate the Ultramarines?  Couldn't one of the 2 additional tac marines be a Black Templar?  I know it's essentially a palette swap to change the chapter, but then you end up with a probably unbalanced chapter ability, stealing one of the other chapter's abilities, or no ability at all.  

Otherwise, I like the scenario quite a bit.

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Possibly because they were still balancing the Black Templar's chapter ability compared to everyone else's when they were writing the demo? Or they might have a series of "Rites" as a chapter ability, similar to those that the BT's (at least used to) have in the tabletop game.

Probably several possible reasons, as I'm sure they wouldn't have just ignored them for no reason whatsoever.

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