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Deathwatch Adversaries Underpowered!?

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N0-1_H3r3 said:

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.

Funny you should use the dragon example too. Anyway, there is no such equivalent as that in DW. If you don't kill a Hive Tyrant or Daemon Prince quickly it kills you. You can have slightly more protracted fights by using a few Tyrannid Warriors in melee combat. But against those master-class enemies it's do or die.

 

I find this a refreshing change in DW actually. Only GMs and players have to understand this. We're not on fantasy island anymore.

Beyond that, it's all a matter of properly staging the encounter. Fantasy rpg dragons allow for GM laziness: just plop them in front of the players and deal with them. In DW, the GM better thinks a second or two about how to properly employ a master-class enemy.

 

Ah well, that's all part of the fun of learning a new setting; I like it. :-)

 

Alex

 

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N0-1_H3r3 said:

 

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.

Quite, but how interesting is yet another encounter that end's with and all auto fired at the boss and it died because it's a huge dodgeless target that couldn't hide behind a wall of tyranid warriors.

I mean, yes, I wouldn't be looking to have it kill the party while I laugh, but I want them to think it will kill them. Is it too much to ask that they maybe have to vary their weapons or tactics. Try and peel off some guards first or something, is it too much to ask that maybe a monster that was beyond 4 starting marines was put in?

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Face Eater said:

 

N0-1_H3r3 said:

 

 

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.

 

 

Quite, but how interesting is yet another encounter that end's with and all auto fired at the boss and it died because it's a huge dodgeless target that couldn't hide behind a wall of tyranid warriors.

I mean, yes, I wouldn't be looking to have it kill the party while I laugh, but I want them to think it will kill them. Is it too much to ask that they maybe have to vary their weapons or tactics. Try and peel off some guards first or something, is it too much to ask that maybe a monster that was beyond 4 starting marines was put in?

 

 

Such an enemy does already exist... but it may underwhelm you in it's simplicity:

Behold! 

I give you... The 500 Magnitude Hormagaunt Horde. Deadly. Fearless. Swarming. Ruthless. Unrelenting. A swarm of the worst kind.

Your players have 2 options. Fight and die. Run and escape to fight another day. 

The Emperor's finest do not sell their lives easily; each knows when and where to give their lives as necessary. Each understands their individual importance to the Imperium as a whole. Pride and glory will not be lost on them when they choose to withdraw in the face of such adversity, if only for a time to regroup and fight again another day.

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Face Eater said:

N0-1_H3r3 said:

 

 

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.

 

 

Quite, but how interesting is yet another encounter that end's with and all auto fired at the boss and it died because it's a huge dodgeless target that couldn't hide behind a wall of tyranid warriors.

I mean, yes, I wouldn't be looking to have it kill the party while I laugh, but I want them to think it will kill them. Is it too much to ask that they maybe have to vary their weapons or tactics. Try and peel off some guards first or something, is it too much to ask that maybe a monster that was beyond 4 starting marines was put in?

Out of curiosity, and not intending to be an ass here (sorry if it sounds that way) but what type of enemy would you create that would vary this up?

Personally I've hit these types of issues in every game system I've played if as a GM I'm not careful in planning out my encounters.  In DW it's a blast of full auto bolter fire.  In D&D while not every character had the same attack, they would re-use their character's base strength again and again (the fighter stacks abilities and charges, the mage blasts from a distance with fireballs, the thief tries to hide and stab people in the back), same with WoD (melee rush in, ranged opens fire, mentalists pop heads).  If the GM isn't the one altering the tactics why should the PCs? 

And as for enemies, many sessions I've played in resulted in my group taking lots of wounds, and criticals on more than one occasion.  It's to the point that the team does anything the Apothecary asks because he's proved to be so vital to their survival.  They're totally afraid of the enemies I throw at them, as even the hordes of chaos cultists can eventually take them out if they're not careful.

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If bad-guys don't last long: Use more bad-guys. As a player, I'd much prefer the GM just tossed more monsters at me than nerfed my guns, or artificially toughened the foe. It's not like you -the GM- should be caring about the fate of your cannon-fodder or have a limited supply, after all.

If you want fights with Elites to last longer, then make the combats about maneuvering for position and advantage, rather than killyness. Put the bad guy behind a force wall that needs taking down by fiddling with that console up there, where you need to drive a loader over there to provide cover in order to climb safely to said console, while hordes of mooks pile in, et cetera...

 

Face eater:

Actually, having gamed at 40k with an army consisting of 6 figures, it was quite fun. Serves the other guy right from playing demonic just after the release of the Grey Knight terminators. One squad + one hero (all level 4 psi) = one army.

SMs are not just 'dudes in power armour'. the supporting fluff spread over several dozen novels makes that fairly clear. Yes: They can be gunned down by las-cannons, but in most other aspects they are portrayed as being so superior to 'normal' humans as to be super-human. Just look at the typical background of any of them. by our standards they are world-class combatants BEFORE becoming SMs. How well a combatant can take a tank-round in the torso, or how good a tank is, should not be the measure of their competancy.

That said: The IG get treated very unfairly in a lot of fluff (except Gaunts Ghosts, where they are pretty handy). One does not skim off ten thousand of a planets population every generation or whatever to have them be essentially poorly trained cannon fodder. I would very much expect most IG regiments to be trained at least as well as elite infantry, whereas first tier PDFs would be akin to contemporary regular infantry.

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Face Eater said:

N0-1_H3r3 said:

 

 

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.

 

 

Quite, but how interesting is yet another encounter that end's with and all auto fired at the boss and it died because it's a huge dodgeless target that couldn't hide behind a wall of tyranid warriors.

I mean, yes, I wouldn't be looking to have it kill the party while I laugh, but I want them to think it will kill them. Is it too much to ask that they maybe have to vary their weapons or tactics. Try and peel off some guards first or something, is it too much to ask that maybe a monster that was beyond 4 starting marines was put in?

 

Stat a tyranid hierophant (you're players will get mad as hell though)? gran_risa.gif Also please note that the official stats are just the stat lines for average members of their species. The Hive Tyrant listed is perhaps a "Rank 3" HT.

 

Alex

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Siranui said:

SMs are not just 'dudes in power armour'. the supporting fluff spread over several dozen novels makes that fairly clear. Yes: They can be gunned down by las-cannons, but in most other aspects they are portrayed as being so superior to 'normal' humans as to be super-human. Just look at the typical background of any of them. by our standards they are world-class combatants BEFORE becoming SMs. How well a combatant can take a tank-round in the torso, or how good a tank is, should not be the measure of their competancy.

That said: The IG get treated very unfairly in a lot of fluff (except Gaunts Ghosts, where they are pretty handy). One does not skim off ten thousand of a planets population every generation or whatever to have them be essentially poorly trained cannon fodder. I would very much expect most IG regiments to be trained at least as well as elite infantry, whereas first tier PDFs would be akin to contemporary regular infantry.

Super human yes, but still infantry. And seeing as you rarely fight humans that kind of devalues the currency somewhat. Sure they are amoungst the best trained, toughest, troops but still THEY need their own tanks, THEY need support (or at least the option to a bunch more troops instead).

I remember the fabled 1200 point GK units of the past, that was a different time though and most armies would be lucky to have a tank at all, let alone several squadrons (strange that they wanted to go in that direction).

Yeah Guard players understand, there' s hundreds of billions of Guards out there, most of them are crap but our forces are the good ones, in the same way that most Space forces don't have Terminators, Dreadnoughts or impossible hard special Characters. Where's the fun in playing the average, people love the special stuff.

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The Imperial Guard is vastly more skilled then they used to be in older codices. Especially now that Veterans are a Troops choice and not Elite.

But you also have Storm Troopers (who come with decent armour, weapons and skills, even in TT) and a decent selection of special characters in the new dex.

I do miss doctrines however, as you could create your own highly trained (Close Order Drill, Hardened Fighters,  Sharpshooters) and well disicplined (Iron Discipline and the aforementioned Close Order Drill) and armoured (Carapace Armour) special force. As well as a combination of other skills.

And reading through the fluff, veteran IG are not push overs, many of them are experienced fighters with dozens of years of combat behind them.

So I have to agree that most people quickly throw out the "poorly trained" IG argument. Which, is far from true.

They are not on 1 to 1 terms with a Space Marine of course.

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 Still infantry, but infantry in armour that's probably equivalent of a modern MBT, and infantry that's trained from the age they can walk for combat.

Granted, this means less when compared to xenos stuff, but in comparison to 'normal' human infantry, there shouldn't even really be a comparison.

 

GK Terminators came out after tanks had established a foot-hold on the board, but it was still quite a while ago. I suspect that the game went that direction when GW looked at the profit margins on vehicles and then made them dirt-cheap points-wise, so people rushed out and bought them.

 

As to the IG mostly being 'crap', I completely disagree. That's what Tier 3 PDF are for.

There are 20,000,000 active soldiers on our planet. So they're the Tier 1 PDF. I don't know how many men are in a IG Regiment, but I suspect that it's certainly a lot less than 20,000. Most planets whose main export isn't soldiers might raise a regiment once every 10-50 years. So a 20,000 strong regiment would just be skimming the finest 0.1% off the PDF regulars. That's pretty elite. And if they're not already pretty good then they've got plenty more time for training on their way to the other side of the galaxy to fight.

 

 

 

 

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Ok, so I looked in the dodge rule, and the size rule, and the parry rule.

 

I didn't see where it said that large creatures cannot dodge. It isn't under size, and it isn't under the dodge skill, so where is it? I saw that space marines can still dodge in powered armor, but aside from that, I didn't see it....

 

Also, Scything Talons, Rending Claws, Lash Whips, and Bone Swords are all on a chart that says "Melee Weapons" and Parry says you can parry if you have a Melee Weapon.

 

So unless I drastically misread something, Blood Angel of Furious Smitey Damnation charges Hive Tyrant going "FOOOOOOOOOOOOOOR THEEEEEEE EMREROOOOOOOOOOOOOOOORRRRR!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!" Hive Tyrant goes "HISSSS¹ " BAoFSD goes "Awwww sh-" and the Tyrant hits him with 3 Bone Sword attacks and a Scything Talon attack and rips him to little bloody Angel shreds since he cannot parry or dodge after a furious assault.

 

As for Righteous Fury? yeah it is poop, Masters should have a trait protecting them from it, I for one will reword it to say "Only the result on the primary dice, i.e. before Tearing, Flesh Render, etc. will threaten Righteous Fury." So it will still come up (a lot for a rank 8 BAoFSD) you won't get Infinite damage combos.

 

 

Only in death does duty end

HAVE FAITH IN THE EMPEROR!

 

 

¹ "I roll a 43 to Parry or Dodge"

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Fenrisnorth said:

So unless I drastically misread something, Blood Angel of Furious Smitey Damnation charges Hive Tyrant going "FOOOOOOOOOOOOOOR THEEEEEEE EMREROOOOOOOOOOOOOOOORRRRR!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!" Hive Tyrant goes "HISSSS¹ " BAoFSD goes "Awwww sh-" and the Tyrant hits him with 3 Bone Sword attacks and a Scything Talon attack and rips him to little bloody Angel shreds since he cannot parry or dodge after a furious assault.

Right, a Hive Tyrant on paper looks good, with armor 10 and toughness reduction of 15, and it can dodge and parry, and a bone sword and scything talens should make short work of most marines.  I think the problem lies in with the old RF rules where a lucky shot with a bolt pistol has a reasonable chance of blasting it back to hell, let alone if the guy with the heavy bolter (and the tac marine(s)) gets a chance to fire.  From the sounds of it, the people having problems with the enemies are either using the RAW RF rules, or they're staging encounters such that the Marines have an excellent tactical position. 

I also think they're missing a key point that you mention, you can equip the HT with weapons, and a bone sword without even considering the contested WP +d10 per DoS and oh by the way ignore your armor and toughness on that damage should make short, bloody work of a marine that it manages to close with.  You combine those weapons with a little guile and strategy and there should be some marines that bleed.

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Fenrisnorth said:

Ok, so I looked in the dodge rule, and the size rule, and the parry rule.

 

I didn't see where it said that large creatures cannot dodge. It isn't under size, and it isn't under the dodge skill, so where is it? I saw that space marines can still dodge in powered armor, but aside from that, I didn't see it....

 

Also, Scything Talons, Rending Claws, Lash Whips, and Bone Swords are all on a chart that says "Melee Weapons" and Parry says you can parry if you have a Melee Weapon.

 

So unless I drastically misread something, Blood Angel of Furious Smitey Damnation charges Hive Tyrant going "FOOOOOOOOOOOOOOR THEEEEEEE EMREROOOOOOOOOOOOOOOORRRRR!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!" Hive Tyrant goes "HISSSS¹ " BAoFSD goes "Awwww sh-" and the Tyrant hits him with 3 Bone Sword attacks and a Scything Talon attack and rips him to little bloody Angel shreds since he cannot parry or dodge after a furious assault.

 

As for Righteous Fury? yeah it is poop, Masters should have a trait protecting them from it, I for one will reword it to say "Only the result on the primary dice, i.e. before Tearing, Flesh Render, etc. will threaten Righteous Fury." So it will still come up (a lot for a rank 8 BAoFSD) you won't get Infinite damage combos.

 

 

Only in death does duty end

HAVE FAITH IN THE EMPEROR!

 

 

¹ "I roll a 43 to Parry or Dodge"

 

Wrong, doesn't have dodge as a trained skill, must use as basic untrained with an effective value of 23.

 

Otoh, I don't mind if a Rank 8 maxed-out BA Assault can hurt a HT a lot. I loathe the RF 8+ rule though, that was not well thought out and I might replace it with something that gives additional damage or sth. Under no circumstances whatsoever should any marine have a RF of 8+. Leave those for named character models, I don't want PCs to operate at that level.

 

Alex

 

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ak-73 said:

 

Wrong, doesn't have dodge as a trained skill, must use as basic untrained with an effective value of 23...

I know, right, same with tyranid warriors and especially because they are all +20 size mod to hit or more.

I expect them to fight like tigers with natural plate armour and inbuilt swords (or cannons but we've already mentioned that, and you've done well with the stat's on that thread Alex) not lumbering bio-robots.

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Fair enough on the dodge point, I sense inhouse eratta incoming... after all the enemies should level with the PCs. I know I would pick up Dodge. They are supposed to be wicked fast, faster than normal marines, after all. Thanks for the heads on THAT omission. I fully intend to kit out my Nids like they are on TT, full of toxins and scything talons and unremitting horror, termagants with devourers, and billions of the 'lil mothers.

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