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rodeoclownjihad

Deathwatch Adversaries Underpowered!?

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Hey Rodeo, (love the name btw)

As a fellow TT gamer, as well as a RPG gamer of 20+ years, I kinda see where you are coming from, though I do have few caveats to address before I can say I agree with you fully..

Try running gaunts etc in Hordes before completely deciding they are underpowered. Remember to use the +damage according to magnitude, as well as any special rules they might have (swift attacks, lightning attacks, weapon qualities etc). Also keep in mind that horde damages hit *everyone* and they can't dodge or parry in most circumstances. I think you'll see regular 'troops' become much more deadly. This seems to me that it mirrors the TT though does lean towards the more cinematic experience that most RPGs strive for (and that the fluff engenders).

Elites *are* pretty scary. My group slaughtered several gaunt hordes in one of my recent games, but once 5 warriors showed up we had to get smart in how we tackled them. The GM ran them smart as well, and we ended up taking a couple casualties before we defeated the encounter. Note I said 'encounter', we actually were pressed to kill all of them, and eventually completed our objective and got out of there. (mainly because we knew from earlier experience that to stay in one place is to invite more and more bugs, and *that* is not a good thing.)

Master level creatures are actually very deadly, especially when used in combination with their minions (elites and troops). We engaged a baseline Tyrant in the mission, and he and his Tyrant Guard messed us up. We were able to defeat him, but lost two marines in the fight, as well as almost failed our primary because the Tyrant was smart and almost killed the VIP we were sent to rescue. Again, we had to engage him in a limited amount of time, and just barely escaped before the Lictors, Genestealers and Gaunts washed over the area.

I realize that other creatures are outside the scope of your original post, but if you really want to challenge your players throw some CSM at them. Outfit them like Traitor marines (autocannons, heavy bolters, power swords, Emperor forbid, CHAOS Termies) and give them the same squad tactic rules that we have. If you *really* want to be evil give them a Chaos Mark (the Nurgle mark and Khorne marks are especially sick). In one encounter with a CSM squad (that vaguely mirrored our squad) they successfully ambushed our Librarian and Devestator (and rghtly so, they are the biggest threats in our squad). They popped them both in a single round which obviously put the rest of our squad at a severe disadvantage. Again, we were able to overcome them, but only due to a liberal use of Fate points and thinking outside the box. I admit, I'm not looking forward to facing the Tzeentch Sorceror that he teased us with last week, he's going to be painful.

I guess my point is kind of what AK-73 said, use the book as a guideline, but go off the reservation a bit if you need to. Buff them up, throw huge hordes at them, do what you have to in order to make them respect your encounters.

I remember that you said you didn't want to outright kill your players, just challenge them and you know, now I think about it, the badguys may not be so underpowered so much as hard to balance a tough versus easy encounter as written in the book. In my groups experience, our GM is definately not afraid to push us with numbers and encounters balanced towards 'hard', but it did take us several missions to get to the point where things felt balanced in difficulty for our team.

Anyway, just a few thoughts. Much luck with getting things worked out.

-Bell

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Initially when I looked at some of the stuff in DW, a lot of the bolter damage seemed ridiculous, the enemies underwhelming, it didn't match some of my TT experiences, etc. 

But then I remembered what an RPG is supposed to be about- it's about your player characters.  In my experience with RPGs, your player's characters are not TT clones, not even close.  They're heroic, the story focuses on their efforts, they're special.  In all the systems I've played in, however dark and brutal, the "Level 1" or its equivalent is still better than the peasants they're surrounded by because they're a PC.  Shouldn't the party, the deathwatch marines, be elites capable of more than the masses of their brothers spread across a table top army hiding behind trees and hoping the enemy doesn't have a special rule up their sleeve?  And shouldn't the enemy troops have to be more than 'throw them headlong at the pcs' to make them a little more realistic (yeah, I know, spouting terms like realism makes me laugh too)?

If your enemies just rush your pcs, they're 2 dimensional and unrewarding.  Sometimes that's perfect, especially with the horde rules.  In Final Sanction, the  PCs should care about turning the tide of battle and finding the Genestealers and Broodlord, not about the names or abilities of the countless PDF troopers they slaughtered.  And in my experience with FS, even the lowliest hordes of PDF Irregulars were enough to cause damage to the party, however light, and those wounds added up over the long night.  That led to problems when getting hit for 2d10+12 Pen 5 to 10 when facing Genstealers and the Lord at the climax, but I blame that on inexperience with the ruleset and not keeping closer track of the players status.

And as for 'customization', I concur with many others on the board.  I've been playing some form of RPGs and nerding it up on my weekends for a very long time, playing a number of systems and versions of systems; each and every game we've played we've ended up with tweaks, house rules, and modifications to fit our themes and style.  Hell, in some of them we've modified the houserules wholesale for each campaign, making sweeping changes to fit a mood we wanted to conjur up.  Making a game that pleases everyone will never, ever happen. 

@Alex, do you not think that DW treads a middle ground?  It seems to me that some people don't like certain enemies, or certain weapons, but overall people seem to be fairly content with the setting and system...though I've been away from the keyboard for a while now, perhaps there are new areas of dissent I've not yet read...

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Charmander said:

@Alex, do you not think that DW treads a middle ground?  It seems to me that some people don't like certain enemies, or certain weapons, but overall people seem to be fairly content with the setting and system...though I've been away from the keyboard for a while now, perhaps there are new areas of dissent I've not yet read...

 

No, I think it's not in the middle between novels and TT; I think it's on the novels' side and I like it that way. What I do not like are unnecessary inconsistencies with the TT. I have yet to be given a good reason why the damage progression isn't closer to the weapon strength in 40K. And by that I mean I don't understand why the meltagun does significantly less damage than the multi-melta and much, much less than the lascannon. And why the plasmagun is also underpowered. It seems to be without good reason - did the designer's think that people won't spend the requisition points for the heavies if they can get the basic versions? Makes no sense to me.

 

Alex

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Bellerophon said:

Hey Rodeo, (love the name btw)

As a fellow TT gamer, as well as a RPG gamer of 20+ years, I kinda see where you are coming from, though I do have few caveats to address before I can say I agree with you fully..

Try running gaunts etc in Hordes before completely deciding they are underpowered. Remember to use the +damage according to magnitude, as well as any special rules they might have (swift attacks, lightning attacks, weapon qualities etc). Also keep in mind that horde damages hit *everyone* and they can't dodge or parry in most circumstances. I think you'll see regular 'troops' become much more deadly. This seems to me that it mirrors the TT though does lean towards the more cinematic experience that most RPGs strive for (and that the fluff engenders).

Elites *are* pretty scary. My group slaughtered several gaunt hordes in one of my recent games, but once 5 warriors showed up we had to get smart in how we tackled them. The GM ran them smart as well, and we ended up taking a couple casualties before we defeated the encounter. Note I said 'encounter', we actually were pressed to kill all of them, and eventually completed our objective and got out of there. (mainly because we knew from earlier experience that to stay in one place is to invite more and more bugs, and *that* is not a good thing.)

Master level creatures are actually very deadly, especially when used in combination with their minions (elites and troops). We engaged a baseline Tyrant in the mission, and he and his Tyrant Guard messed us up. We were able to defeat him, but lost two marines in the fight, as well as almost failed our primary because the Tyrant was smart and almost killed the VIP we were sent to rescue. Again, we had to engage him in a limited amount of time, and just barely escaped before the Lictors, Genestealers and Gaunts washed over the area.

I realize that other creatures are outside the scope of your original post, but if you really want to challenge your players throw some CSM at them. Outfit them like Traitor marines (autocannons, heavy bolters, power swords, Emperor forbid, CHAOS Termies) and give them the same squad tactic rules that we have. If you *really* want to be evil give them a Chaos Mark (the Nurgle mark and Khorne marks are especially sick). In one encounter with a CSM squad (that vaguely mirrored our squad) they successfully ambushed our Librarian and Devestator (and rghtly so, they are the biggest threats in our squad). They popped them both in a single round which obviously put the rest of our squad at a severe disadvantage. Again, we were able to overcome them, but only due to a liberal use of Fate points and thinking outside the box. I admit, I'm not looking forward to facing the Tzeentch Sorceror that he teased us with last week, he's going to be painful.

I guess my point is kind of what AK-73 said, use the book as a guideline, but go off the reservation a bit if you need to. Buff them up, throw huge hordes at them, do what you have to in order to make them respect your encounters.

I remember that you said you didn't want to outright kill your players, just challenge them and you know, now I think about it, the badguys may not be so underpowered so much as hard to balance a tough versus easy encounter as written in the book. In my groups experience, our GM is definately not afraid to push us with numbers and encounters balanced towards 'hard', but it did take us several missions to get to the point where things felt balanced in difficulty for our team.

Anyway, just a few thoughts. Much luck with getting things worked out.

-Bell

Thanks. I came up with the name when I was bored and I needed a name for something and I wanted it to be pretty random. It just kinda stuck from there lol.

Yeah, I should have used hordes at 1st that was my mistake thinking i could get away with many individuals instead. Also you are very correct, until you get a lot of experience with the game and running the enemies its hard to balance until you can get a feel for whats too hard or too easy. But I honestly expected to have to use far less enemies against only 3 marines. However the realization just came to me that there is a new space marine game due out soon for game consoles. It repeatedly depicts 1-2 space marines going apeshit on a ridiculous number of orcs. Of course making the same comparison i have been this whole time, this would seem ridiculous as well however it seems more ok because its a video game. One usually views (at least in my experience) RPGs as more "realistic" but bottom line is that its a game as well. Perhaps I was just expecting it to be more "realistic"

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N0-1_H3r3 said:

Peacekeeper_b said:

Nope, TT is 1 to 1 ratio. 1 figure is 1 dude.

 

But 1 shot in game terms is not 1 shot "for real", and 1 turn is in tabletop is not a clearly-defined period of time. Table scale and model scale are wildly disparate and largely inconsistent (no creature should be able to run as fast as a bullet or lasbolt fired from a pistol, yet they apparently can in the wargame)... direct comparisons are awkward at best, and impossible at worst.

A lasgun in the wargame can kill a Space Marine or an Ork outright with a single shot... but we don't know how many shots (in "real life" terms, or in RPG terms) that single dice roll represents or whether that shooting phase represents a period of time covering a few seconds or a few minutes. Closest estimate I've seen is based on the idea that a single Assault in Epic covers a full game of 40k in terms of action, and a turn in the current version of Epic is about 15 minutes of time, approximately (much like BFG, though all these things are variable), so a single turn of 40k (out of 6), is about two and a half minutes long. In 40kRP terms, that's about 30 turns of combat... which means that those 'single shots' in 40k could represent a considerable amount of sustained fire (it takes 10 turns on semi-auto to empty a lasgun charge pack, or 7 turns to empty an Astartes Bolter magazine... even accounting for many  turns spent moving around to firing positions and cover, 30 rounds still allows a decent amount of firepower in either case)

Granted and I will give you that.

However, it works both way, saying that the guardsmen can kill a space marine cause it is 2.5 minutes of concentrated fire also implies that the casualties a space marine inflicts is over a 2.5 minute period and therefore both weapons are scaled the same way.

A lucky guardsman in that 2.5 minute turn could kill up to 2 space marines (4+ to hit, 5+ to wounds, marine rolls 1 or 2 on armour save), while there is a decent chance a space marine will kill 2 (and no more then 2) guardsmen in the same span of time (3+ to hit, 3+ to wound, no save unless guardsman is wearing carapace which is then 4+).

I am not saying that guardsmen in the RPG need to be able to score 41 wounds with the lasgun to justify the TT events, I do realize they are different games and mechanics and representation of time, space, movement and ability. But I think they should be able to hurt a space marine without having to use horde rules or righteous fury. Basically, I think the time honored fluff of variable power settings on a lasgun (military grade) should be added to the weapon, allowing it to supercharge (similar to hotshot clips) to gain increased Damage and PEN but at the cost of ammo, accuracy, reliability and maybe even a chance of overheat.

Afterall, Gaunts Ghosts do kill space marines that way, and one of them even destroyed a dreadnaught with a overcharged/overheating exploding lasgun.

I would say a maximal setting the weapon becomes inaccurate, expends 1/2 its max energy, can only fire a single shot and risks overheat but gains a PEN of 3 and +3 damage.  (for 1D10+6 damage and PEN 3) allowing a marine to be injured on a damage roll of 8+ (if hit anywhere but the body).

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ak-73 said:

No, I think it's not in the middle between novels and TT; I think it's on the novels' side and I like it that way. What I do not like are unnecessary inconsistencies with the TT. I have yet to be given a good reason why the damage progression isn't closer to the weapon strength in 40K. And by that I mean I don't understand why the meltagun does significantly less damage than the multi-melta and much, much less than the lascannon. And why the plasmagun is also underpowered. It seems to be without good reason - did the designer's think that people won't spend the requisition points for the heavies if they can get the basic versions? Makes no sense to me.

Alex

It's been quite a while since I've looked at an edition of TT in detail, so I can't really make a precise or educated comment; I can however say the internal rules taken by themselves seem to show some of the discrepancies you call out.- why would anyone ever get a MM when for 5 LESS req when they could go with a lascannon and get 6x the range, 2d10 more damage, and only really sacrifice 2 pen (which is made up for, at a *minimum* by the +2d10 damage).  I agree that much of the weapon/equipment system seems rushed or illogical.  Given the time between the sample adventure and the game's release, and the relativly big changes in some of the enemy stats (those Genestealers are deadly!), it does make me wonder if we'll see chunks of weapon errata sometime in the new year.  Though some of the DH and RT weapon and combat system oddities persist, so maybe nothappy.gif


 

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I thought one of the bigger theams of the game was a a small band of heros versus the endless hoard.   Space mariens are always depicted as epic heros, always out numbered, slaying the hoards that seek the destruction of human kind.  Kinda the whole red shirts bersus actual heros things.  Thats why you use chumps to soften them up, then send the big bad. 

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Charmander said:

ak-73 said:

 

No, I think it's not in the middle between novels and TT; I think it's on the novels' side and I like it that way. What I do not like are unnecessary inconsistencies with the TT. I have yet to be given a good reason why the damage progression isn't closer to the weapon strength in 40K. And by that I mean I don't understand why the meltagun does significantly less damage than the multi-melta and much, much less than the lascannon. And why the plasmagun is also underpowered. It seems to be without good reason - did the designer's think that people won't spend the requisition points for the heavies if they can get the basic versions? Makes no sense to me.

Alex

 

 

It's been quite a while since I've looked at an edition of TT in detail, so I can't really make a precise or educated comment; I can however say the internal rules taken by themselves seem to show some of the discrepancies you call out.- why would anyone ever get a MM when for 5 LESS req when they could go with a lascannon and get 6x the range, 2d10 more damage, and only really sacrifice 2 pen (which is made up for, at a *minimum* by the +2d10 damage).  I agree that much of the weapon/equipment system seems rushed or illogical.  Given the time between the sample adventure and the game's release, and the relativly big changes in some of the enemy stats (those Genestealers are deadly!), it does make me wonder if we'll see chunks of weapon errata sometime in the new year.  Though some of the DH and RT weapon and combat system oddities persist, so maybe nothappy.gif


 

 

www.fantasyflightgames.com/edge_foros_discusion.asp

 

I'm going to do the Assault Cannon and perhaps nerf the Lascannon too.

 

Alex

 

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After running a few sessions with space marines, including the 1st adventure in the book, i found out that there are vast differences in potential. Remember in the 1st adventure that a Hive Tyrant should appear to scare off the marines? And to be used only for that? Guess what. My tyrant died in actually one and half round after being spotted by a single devastator marine armed with the exact standard starting gear given in the book at a range of 600m. There are ways around it but the enemies as presented in the book are nowhere near challenging. The only challenging thing so far is either a massive horde (at 300+ units) or single stealth units (like the lictor) that have high damage output. Anything else that can be spotted, dies in milliseconds.

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Ngel said:

After running a few sessions with space marines, including the 1st adventure in the book, i found out that there are vast differences in potential. Remember in the 1st adventure that a Hive Tyrant should appear to scare off the marines? And to be used only for that? Guess what. My tyrant died in actually one and half round after being spotted by a single devastator marine armed with the exact standard starting gear given in the book at a range of 600m. There are ways around it but the enemies as presented in the book are nowhere near challenging. The only challenging thing so far is either a massive horde (at 300+ units) or single stealth units (like the lictor) that have high damage output. Anything else that can be spotted, dies in milliseconds.

 

It sounds like you use the original DW Righteous Fury rule. Almost nobody here does that because it is insane. If do you use it presently, I suggest you either use the DH RF rules of re-rolling only one natural 10 die and adding the result, re-rolling further until you don't roll a natural 10 anymore or you do that with all damage dice that are natural 10s (which is what I do).

 

Other than that, yes, even Hive Tyrants can be killed with some ease. In general, fights against Master-class enemies are of the type that you kill them in 1 or 2 rounds or else they will start to kill marines (if they are within the range of the master-class enemy). These combats tend to be short and brutal, not the epic grinds that you might be familiar with from other RPGs, like fighting a Dragon, etc. As such placing a Hive Tyrant at 600m is putting him at a serious disadvantage. Otoh, it's a matter of staging. If the Devastator Marine is about to get charged by 1 or 2 shrikes from the horde, he won't be focussing his fire at a 600m distant tyrant, trust me. And if he does, he deserves getting charged by mutiple shrikes.

 

Alex

 

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They should be easy foes. SMs are supposed to be dirt hard, after all. The finest of mankind's troops.

It has been stated by GW repeatedly that 40k SMs indeed are NOT representative of what a SM is. What they are on the table-top thus does not really have any bearing at all on the RPG. On the tabletop, they are handicapped for playability. It would be a poor rule system that had one army consist of 100 IG, while the other consisted of 5 SMs (for a start it'd hurt figure sales, heaven forbid!). Yet that should be more akin to the actual threat ratio. Unless we really think that SMs are only 33% better at shooting and hand-to-hand combat than an IG grunt? Or that the SM is only slightly tougher and stronger? 

Clearly not.

The dozens of novels (which are canon, of course) show repeated examples of SMs being VERY superhuman in capability. 50 imperial guard? No problem, I'll take these ones, you deal with the two tanks, Brother. This is simply not reflected in the wargame. However, it has been very nicely reflected in the rules.

Deathwatch is an epic game. It's about swatting aside hundreds of foes without batting an eyelid. Many encounters deserve to be a complete kill-fest for players. Certainly, pretty much the lowliest of the Tyranid threats should not really cause an Astartes to break a sweat unless they're in vast numbers. FF have done a great job of bringing the Marines of the novels to life. They're every bit as amazing as the fiction portrays. Kudos.

No: They're not the SMs of the tabletop, because those marines are a poor reflection anyway. With that in mind we can easily discard any comparisons to the tabletop game and then accept the fact that gaunts deserve to be swept aside with a fair degree of contempt. Especially if encountered at range.

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Siranui said:

 

They should be easy foes. SMs are supposed to be dirt hard, after all. The finest of mankind's troops.

It has been stated by GW repeatedly that 40k SMs indeed are NOT representative of what a SM is. What they are on the table-top thus does not really have any bearing at all on the RPG. On the tabletop, they are handicapped for playability. It would be a poor rule system that had one army consist of 100 IG, while the other consisted of 5 SMs (for a start it'd hurt figure sales, heaven forbid!). Yet that should be more akin to the actual threat ratio. Unless we really think that SMs are only 33% better at shooting and hand-to-hand combat than an IG grunt? Or that the SM is only slightly tougher and stronger? 

Clearly not.

The dozens of novels (which are canon, of course) show repeated examples of SMs being VERY superhuman in capability. 50 imperial guard? No problem, I'll take these ones, you deal with the two tanks, Brother. This is simply not reflected in the wargame. However, it has been very nicely reflected in the rules.

Deathwatch is an epic game. It's about swatting aside hundreds of foes without batting an eyelid. Many encounters deserve to be a complete kill-fest for players. Certainly, pretty much the lowliest of the Tyranid threats should not really cause an Astartes to break a sweat unless they're in vast numbers. FF have done a great job of bringing the Marines of the novels to life. They're every bit as amazing as the fiction portrays. Kudos.

No: They're not the SMs of the tabletop, because those marines are a poor reflection anyway. With that in mind we can easily discard any comparisons to the tabletop game and then accept the fact that gaunts deserve to be swept aside with a fair degree of contempt. Especially if encountered at range.

You really cant even use the novels to justify these stats. Ive read novels (Space Marine Novels, ULTRAMARINE NOVELS) where Dark Eldar killed marines, quick and easy. Ive read Gaunts Ghosts novels where a Guardsman killed a Dreadnaught, with a lasgun. And where they kill CSM with lasguns. Ive read Cain novels where he fights a CSM in HTH combat and lives.

And the 33% better notion is wrong as well. Sure their stats are higher then a IGs stats by 33%, but based on the mechanics of the TT game, the D6, they are only 16% better.

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 Sure I can! As I mentioned though, GW have stated that the TT versions are a weak imitation for gameplay sake. That's about as canon as it gets, really.

 

As regards your second point, you're actually strengthening my argument: In TT they are only 17% better than IG... which shows that TT is clearly 'wrong'.

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ak-73 said:

Ngel said:

 

After running a few sessions with space marines, including the 1st adventure in the book, i found out that there are vast differences in potential. Remember in the 1st adventure that a Hive Tyrant should appear to scare off the marines? And to be used only for that? Guess what. My tyrant died in actually one and half round after being spotted by a single devastator marine armed with the exact standard starting gear given in the book at a range of 600m. There are ways around it but the enemies as presented in the book are nowhere near challenging. The only challenging thing so far is either a massive horde (at 300+ units) or single stealth units (like the lictor) that have high damage output. Anything else that can be spotted, dies in milliseconds.

 

 

 

It sounds like you use the original DW Righteous Fury rule. Almost nobody here does that because it is insane. If do you use it presently, I suggest you either use the DH RF rules of re-rolling only one natural 10 die and adding the result, re-rolling further until you don't roll a natural 10 anymore or you do that with all damage dice that are natural 10s (which is what I do).

 

Other than that, yes, even Hive Tyrants can be killed with some ease. In general, fights against Master-class enemies are of the type that you kill them in 1 or 2 rounds or else they will start to kill marines (if they are within the range of the master-class enemy). These combats tend to be short and brutal, not the epic grinds that you might be familiar with from other RPGs, like fighting a Dragon, etc. As such placing a Hive Tyrant at 600m is putting him at a serious disadvantage. Otoh, it's a matter of staging. If the Devastator Marine is about to get charged by 1 or 2 shrikes from the horde, he won't be focussing his fire at a 600m distant tyrant, trust me. And if he does, he deserves getting charged by mutiple shrikes.

 

Alex

 

I didnt even begin to take into account the Righteous fury of which i allow only one 10  to be rerolled  once in any given roll (unless its truly dramatic, 2, 3 or more tens in killing something and im putting you on your way to sainthood). On a 3d10+12 (Tearing bolter and Mighty Shot) the average hit is 22 with pen of 6. The lovely tyrant reduces 17 of that. An average hit is therefor somewhere in the area of half the creature's wounds (assuming 10 hits more on that later). That comes from 1 marine only and that in my books is ridiculously easy and totally unacceptable. 2 points here worth mentioning here. First my kill-team's composition: 1 tactical, 1 librarian, 1 assault, 1 apothecary, 2 devastators (so you can understand that only buffing or multiplying enemies seems to have any effect) and secondly the average hits are usually higher than a 22, more around the area of 30. Also the attack bonuses stack too high (in my case +30 from size, +10 from oath,+20 from squad mode, +20 from full auto -20 from distance and WS in the 60s neighborhood) and really lots of hits are attainable. As i stated before, that comes from the one of the 2 devastators, so yeah the enemies are weak when compared to marines.

 

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Ngel said:

ak-73 said:

 

Ngel said:

 

After running a few sessions with space marines, including the 1st adventure in the book, i found out that there are vast differences in potential. Remember in the 1st adventure that a Hive Tyrant should appear to scare off the marines? And to be used only for that? Guess what. My tyrant died in actually one and half round after being spotted by a single devastator marine armed with the exact standard starting gear given in the book at a range of 600m. There are ways around it but the enemies as presented in the book are nowhere near challenging. The only challenging thing so far is either a massive horde (at 300+ units) or single stealth units (like the lictor) that have high damage output. Anything else that can be spotted, dies in milliseconds.

 

 

 

It sounds like you use the original DW Righteous Fury rule. Almost nobody here does that because it is insane. If do you use it presently, I suggest you either use the DH RF rules of re-rolling only one natural 10 die and adding the result, re-rolling further until you don't roll a natural 10 anymore or you do that with all damage dice that are natural 10s (which is what I do).

 

Other than that, yes, even Hive Tyrants can be killed with some ease. In general, fights against Master-class enemies are of the type that you kill them in 1 or 2 rounds or else they will start to kill marines (if they are within the range of the master-class enemy). These combats tend to be short and brutal, not the epic grinds that you might be familiar with from other RPGs, like fighting a Dragon, etc. As such placing a Hive Tyrant at 600m is putting him at a serious disadvantage. Otoh, it's a matter of staging. If the Devastator Marine is about to get charged by 1 or 2 shrikes from the horde, he won't be focussing his fire at a 600m distant tyrant, trust me. And if he does, he deserves getting charged by mutiple shrikes.

 

Alex

 

 

 

I didnt even begin to take into account the Righteous fury of which i allow only one 10  to be rerolled  once in any given roll (unless its truly dramatic, 2, 3 or more tens in killing something and im putting you on your way to sainthood). On a 3d10+12 (Tearing bolter and Mighty Shot) the average hit is 22 with pen of 6. The lovely tyrant reduces 17 of that. An average hit is therefor somewhere in the area of half the creature's wounds (assuming 10 hits more on that later). That comes from 1 marine only and that in my books is ridiculously easy and totally unacceptable. 2 points here worth mentioning here. First my kill-team's composition: 1 tactical, 1 librarian, 1 assault, 1 apothecary, 2 devastators (so you can understand that only buffing or multiplying enemies seems to have any effect) and secondly the average hits are usually higher than a 22, more around the area of 30. Also the attack bonuses stack too high (in my case +30 from size, +10 from oath,+20 from squad mode, +20 from full auto -20 from distance and WS in the 60s neighborhood) and really lots of hits are attainable. As i stated before, that comes from the one of the 2 devastators, so yeah the enemies are weak when compared to marines.

 

 

2 Devastators can be tough, yes. In that case you might have to increase the opposition also...

But anyway... let's recalculate it: HT has a soak of 15+10. Against it in your case 2D10+12 Tearing, Pen 6. I would say that the damage roll results on average in about 26 points of damage. Which would mean 7 points getting through per hit. That's a lot.

2 points to be made:
a) You may want to consider my house rules here
www.fantasyflightgames.com/edge_foros_discusion.asp
They are not fully play-tested but should alleviate the problem a bit
b) A Hive Tyrant is never alone, he's usually surrounded by hordes of smaller creatures. Which means that at the very minimum all shots hitting the legs should hit a horde instead (or, depending on his entourage, only the upper half (01-50 on hit table) is exposed or only the head). Not only that, he can order shrikes (again plural) and similar to cover his advance with their bodies. Good luck, Devs.

 

I would say that with the HB damage reduced by 2 and ROF limited, a Devastator won't do on average more than 5 hits on the Tyrant for 5 pts on average per which makes for 25 pts of Damage per attack. That's okay. It does enough damage to make for an interesting fight as the hordes will try to protect their leader and the Devs try to maneuever to get a clear shot.

 

But other that that your right. FFG in general didn't pay enough attention to the first and foremost rule of rpg system designers: beware of allowing players to stack to many bonuses; err on the side of conservativism.

 

But I don't really blame them here. It's easy to forget about that and get carried away by an ability on its own.

 

Hope this helps.

 

Alex

 

 

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ak-73 said:

 

Ngel said:

 

ak-73 said:

 

Ngel said:

 

After running a few sessions with space marines, including the 1st adventure in the book, i found out that there are vast differences in potential. Remember in the 1st adventure that a Hive Tyrant should appear to scare off the marines? And to be used only for that? Guess what. My tyrant died in actually one and half round after being spotted by a single devastator marine armed with the exact standard starting gear given in the book at a range of 600m. There are ways around it but the enemies as presented in the book are nowhere near challenging. The only challenging thing so far is either a massive horde (at 300+ units) or single stealth units (like the lictor) that have high damage output. Anything else that can be spotted, dies in milliseconds.

 

 

 

It sounds like you use the original DW Righteous Fury rule. Almost nobody here does that because it is insane. If do you use it presently, I suggest you either use the DH RF rules of re-rolling only one natural 10 die and adding the result, re-rolling further until you don't roll a natural 10 anymore or you do that with all damage dice that are natural 10s (which is what I do).

 

Other than that, yes, even Hive Tyrants can be killed with some ease. In general, fights against Master-class enemies are of the type that you kill them in 1 or 2 rounds or else they will start to kill marines (if they are within the range of the master-class enemy). These combats tend to be short and brutal, not the epic grinds that you might be familiar with from other RPGs, like fighting a Dragon, etc. As such placing a Hive Tyrant at 600m is putting him at a serious disadvantage. Otoh, it's a matter of staging. If the Devastator Marine is about to get charged by 1 or 2 shrikes from the horde, he won't be focussing his fire at a 600m distant tyrant, trust me. And if he does, he deserves getting charged by mutiple shrikes.

 

Alex

 

 

 

I didnt even begin to take into account the Righteous fury of which i allow only one 10  to be rerolled  once in any given roll (unless its truly dramatic, 2, 3 or more tens in killing something and im putting you on your way to sainthood). On a 3d10+12 (Tearing bolter and Mighty Shot) the average hit is 22 with pen of 6. The lovely tyrant reduces 17 of that. An average hit is therefor somewhere in the area of half the creature's wounds (assuming 10 hits more on that later). That comes from 1 marine only and that in my books is ridiculously easy and totally unacceptable. 2 points here worth mentioning here. First my kill-team's composition: 1 tactical, 1 librarian, 1 assault, 1 apothecary, 2 devastators (so you can understand that only buffing or multiplying enemies seems to have any effect) and secondly the average hits are usually higher than a 22, more around the area of 30. Also the attack bonuses stack too high (in my case +30 from size, +10 from oath,+20 from squad mode, +20 from full auto -20 from distance and WS in the 60s neighborhood) and really lots of hits are attainable. As i stated before, that comes from the one of the 2 devastators, so yeah the enemies are weak when compared to marines.

 

 

 

 

2 Devastators can be tough, yes. In that case you might have to increase the opposition also...

But anyway... let's recalculate it: HT has a soak of 15+10. Against it in your case 2D10+12 Tearing, Pen 6. I would say that the damage roll results on average in about 26 points of damage. Which would mean 7 points getting through per hit. That's a lot.

2 points to be made:
a) You may want to consider my house rules here
www.fantasyflightgames.com/edge_foros_discusion.asp
They are not fully play-tested but should alleviate the problem a bit
b) A Hive Tyrant is never alone, he's usually surrounded by hordes of smaller creatures. Which means that at the very minimum all shots hitting the legs should hit a horde instead (or, depending on his entourage, only the upper half (01-50 on hit table) is exposed or only the head). Not only that, he can order shrikes (again plural) and similar to cover his advance with their bodies. Good luck, Devs.

 

I would say that with the HB damage reduced by 2 and ROF limited, a Devastator won't do on average more than 5 hits on the Tyrant for 5 pts on average per which makes for 25 pts of Damage per attack. That's okay. It does enough damage to make for an interesting fight as the hordes will try to protect their leader and the Devs try to maneuever to get a clear shot.

 

But other that that your right. FFG in general didn't pay enough attention to the first and foremost rule of rpg system designers: beware of allowing players to stack to many bonuses; err on the side of conservativism.

 

But I don't really blame them here. It's easy to forget about that and get carried away by an ability on its own.

 

Hope this helps.

 

Alex

 

 

 

 

Quoted for "truthiness"

 

I think a lot of GM's are afraid to overwhelm their players with massive amounts of enemies; I believe this to be a caution brought about by other gaming systems whereby doing so would spell certain doom for the entire party.

Believe me, I've tried running other games with higher level characters with little success (Epic Levels in D&D 3.5 anyone???). Deathwatch does a stupendous job of allowing the GM to fling MANY enemies at the PC's and allow the PC's to take those attacks in stride. 

That Hive Tyrant would never be encountered alone; she would at least have her tyrant guardians with her with possibly a couple of gaunt Hordes as well. When you provide cover for the Hive Tyrant, you begin to realize that your 2 Dev's may not have ENOUGH firepower to finish the job before Space Marines start to die. 

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Wow, this one came back to life in a hurry? happy.gif

ak-73 said:


www.fantasyflightgames.com/edge_foros_discusion.asp

I'm going to do the Assault Cannon and perhaps nerf the Lascannon too.

Alex
 

 

I like what you've done with the weapons here, I use most of them in my games now as well.

From Peacekeeper:
Ive read Gaunts Ghosts novels where a Guardsman killed a Dreadnaught, with a lasgun. And where they kill CSM with lasguns. Ive read Cain novels where he fights a CSM in HTH combat and lives.

I know you've mentoned hating this part of those books before, but I don't recall it being killed with the lasgun.  Th eonly dreadnaughts I've read about being killed by them were a blind Chaos Dreadnought that was brought down by a crack in the armor and carefully plased shots, and once by boiling the operator.  Now how Cain fights CSMs or Brood Lords with a chainsword and doesn't get his ass kicked I can't rightly say happy.gif

 

As for the Marines, I agree that the system is hit hard by stacking bonuses, but I also agree with Alex and Chaos above in that you do need to throw hordes of enemies, pun intended, at your players in order for it to pose a challenge. With some minor tweaks and some more thoughtful encounter planning you can truly end up with epic encounters where there is a probability of success but an actual element of danger.  It takes some work, but the pieces are right there ready to be put together. 

Epic 3.5....it was a good effort?

 

EDIT: This forum software and quoting system sucks.  That is all.

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From a fluff standpoint, remember that Death Watch Marines are supposed to be even more elite than normal space marines.

 

From mechanics, my group has just faced its first few sessions and 3 space marines did okay against a few hordes and several tyranid warriors, but we took lots of wounds and some crit damage so it certainly wasn't a breeze.

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Perhaps i got a bit carried away there on the devastators. It not only them.

The actual idea is that apart from anything else, enemies as printed at the moment are unable to defend against anything the marines throw at them (have you ever tried to dodge anything with an agi of 45 versus 7 degress of sucess?), while at the same time the marines reserve an insane amount of passive and active defense (dodging, parrying and damage reduction), Examples include any enemy dodging a bolt shell or a melee attack which is almost impossible and at the same time the marines maintain an outlandish dodge or parry themselves. Perhaps the only weak link is their willpower against psychic powers (and by weak i mean excluding the librarian that its a bit more manageable).

I understand that strategic placement has a very important part to play along with numbers on the enemies side, but i as a GM have lost any kind of serious opposition as a constant, as a threat. Given the right circumstances everything can happen. However what i am interested in now is the general outlook of bad critters, and i am afraid that they don't measure up to threat standards as entries. That is why i believe they are underpowered.

I will work around it of course, adhering most closely to the fluff of the game as possible and playing each enemy (army)  with their own flavor and tactics. But i feel i will have to tweak numbers to make each confrontation "challenging" as opposed to "yeah scratch another 50 off the horde" and that is why i think that the represented enemies so far are underpowered.

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ak-73 said:

b) A Hive Tyrant is never alone, he's usually surrounded by hordes of smaller creatures.

 

This, a thousand times this.

Few RPG combat systems I've encountered easily deal with single powerful enemies fighting alone against a group of PCs - such creatures simply get overwhelmed often simply because they only get one set of actions each turn, while the PCs get a set of actions each, all of which are focussed solely at the monster.

Every single one of the Master creatures in the rulebook has some special ability that bolsters their subordinates, particularly Hordes (Daemon Princes and Hive Tyrants both have a way to replenish Horde numbers, while the Tau Commander grants his allies re-rolls to hit with shooting if the Killteam is at 0 Cohesion), meaning that you're not really providing the entire threat if one of those Masters confronts the Battle-Brothers by itself. A fight against a Master should seldom, if ever, come down to a group-vs-lone monster fight.

Any creatures of that potency that you create yourself should similarly consider that most Masters are leaders as well as combatants in their own right. An Eldar Farseer or Autarch may not have vast numbers of wounds, but they may instead have a wide array of defensive trickery (really high dodge skill, decent armour and a forcefield for an Autarch, really high dodge skill, Rune Armour and an assortment of psychic powers for a Farseer) and the means to amplify the abilities of the army at their command.

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Charmander said:

 operator.  Now how Cain fights CSMs or Brood Lords with a chainsword and doesn't get his ass kicked I can't rightly say happy.gif

 

Like Cain does everything else - pure luck! The incredible unlikliness of those events was also stressed in the novels :D

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N0-1_H3r3 said:

ak-73 said:

b) A Hive Tyrant is never alone, he's usually surrounded by hordes of smaller creatures.

 

This, a thousand times this.

Few RPG combat systems I've encountered easily deal with single powerful enemies fighting alone against a group of PCs - such creatures simply get overwhelmed often simply because they only get one set of actions each turn, while the PCs get a set of actions each, all of which are focussed solely at the monster.

 

I find it amusing when people think there's this consipiracy that GW designed SM to be like super dooper awsome but don't let themselves write the rules like that because a proper space marine army of 5 figures would sales.

Well firstly yes, there would be no other armies if one army had 5 figures in it. That's like a £25 box set. How much fun would the game be if you only ever fought the same 5 figure army. Although GW would just render the army obsolete every 2 months with another set of models.

But secondly and more importantly, as good as space marines are they are still only dudes in power armour with bolters. 5 troops is not an army regardless of quality,  this is a universe of tanks, dreadnoughts and all manner of non human monsters and super powerful weapons.

 

But, and sorry for the diversion N0-1_H3r3, does anyone else think it's strange that you, as the GM, have to come up with ways to keep your big bad guy alive against the PC's. Surely it should be the other way round, regardless of background fluff, just from a game point of view, there's one of you verses about 5 of them brain wise, anything you come up with is likely to already be being picked apart by one of them. The only way they'll learn (oh and they have to learn) is put a monster in their way that (shock horror) can't normally be harmed by bolter fire and only takes a bit of damage from a heavy bolter. Then they might have to (and steel yourself guys, it get's pretty **** wild about here) use a weapon other than a basic bolter.

Of course I already realise you may need to make a weapon that does more damage than a bolter but that's been discussed on many other topics.

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Face Eater said:

But, and sorry for the diversion N0-1_H3r3, does anyone else think it's strange that you, as the GM, have to come up with ways to keep your big bad guy alive against the PC's.

It's all a matter of perspective. I'm, personally, not trying to keep the bad guys alive - any creature I put into a combat encounter is going to die sooner or later. That's kind of the point. What I'm doing, rather, is trying to build a combat encounter that's interesting and challenging.

6 men against a dragon in a large empty space isn't interesting, and while it might be challenging in the sense that the dragon may not die quickly or easily, that isn't necessarily the right kind of challenging - a slow grind challenges only patience.

Weapon damage is irrelevant to the issue, or at best a tangent specific to Deathwatch, but I've seen this issue (the lone 'boss monster' being mobbed by half a dozen heroes) in plenty of other games.

Going to the Deathwatch-specific side of the matter... if you're including a Hive Tyrant (for example) by itself in an encounter, then you're missing the point of a Hive Tyrant - it's a focus for the Hive Mind, a conduit for the alien intellect that drives the Hive Fleets. It shouldn't be wandering around by itself - it should be striding forth amidst a seething tide of talons and teeth.

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Face Eater said:

 

But, and sorry for the diversion N0-1_H3r3, does anyone else think it's strange that you, as the GM, have to come up with ways to keep your big bad guy alive against the PC's. Surely it should be the other way round, regardless of background fluff, just from a game point of view, there's one of you verses about 5 of them brain wise, anything you come up with is likely to already be being picked apart by one of them. The only way they'll learn (oh and they have to learn) is put a monster in their way that (shock horror) can't normally be harmed by bolter fire and only takes a bit of damage from a heavy bolter. Then they might have to (and steel yourself guys, it get's pretty **** wild about here) use a weapon other than a basic bolter.

Of course I already realise you may need to make a weapon that does more damage than a bolter but that's been discussed on many other topics.

 

Well, this is partially solved by nerfing the bolt weapons slightly. All bolt weapons -1 damage (HB -2) and give the HB like a ROF of 6 or 7. Doesn't sound like much? Look at it from the max damage side: 10 shots hitting vs 6 or 7 shots hitting. And you'd already lose 20 damage points without the reduced ROF on a 10 shot hit. With high ROF weapons every damage point matters so much more.

 

Secondly, I wouldn't call it strange but unusual. Hunting Hive Tyrants is what these PCs have been trained for.

I think the best advice is: get out of the fantasy rpg mindset, gamers. A Hive Tyrant isn't a Dragon equivalent and PCs ain't adventurers. The Hive Tyrants biggest asset should be his masterly commandeering of critters, discerning the abilities of the kill-team with accuracy. So such a boss fight normally should follow a pattern of fighting of the Hive Guards while trying to slay that thing somehow. Don't send the Hive Tyrant into battle. Let it take cover and direct other creatures. Many of them. So many that the players have no hope of defeating them all, only of killing the HT before they get overwhelmed. They need not stand in awe before the HT's stats but before what he can throw at them and with which fiendish skill. As if it knew all their strengths and weaknesses. demonio.gif

 

And besides: you don't have to keep the HT alive. The kill-team can't kill it anyway. Hive Tyrants make for wonderful campaign villains.
The players have killed the Tyrant in Extraction? Wonderful, I say. The Hive Mind spawns the exact same tyrant all over again (yes, it can do that; and it has enough fresh bio-matter from that planet anyway). With all the experiences and memories the first one had. Let the players make a difficult awareness test (Space Wolves?) to note that the thing looks exactly the same as the one they killed - a twin perhaps? And later a third one and fourth one. Hmm, something is fishy, eh? And they get more and more cunning with every reincarnation... ouch.

 

If you're looking for enemies who are so über that the whole kill-team has to spend many rounds firing at it... there won't be many such living things in the galaxy.
An armoured vehicle instead perhaps?

 

Alex

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