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Scoates

DW Tank (Creating a Defensive Class)

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I'm trying to make an effective tank class in Deathwatch.  Partly because I feel like I'm not supposed to.  However, I am encountering a lot of problems, and I was hoping we could pool our ideas to improve the concept. 

Let me list what I have started with, and then some problems I have encountered.  Please add additional build ideas, and any solutions you can think of.  I fear it will be futile to ask that the thread be kept to RAW, since houserules have little value in my group.

THE GOOD

I chose the Techmarine for cheap toughness and multiple armor upgrades.  I chose Ultramarines for the bonus to toughness and agility.  Since you are not likely to roll a starting stat of 50, your best stat will be in the 45-49 range, which means the toughness bonus will give you two extra toughness initially and ultimately.

There seems to be no end to the defensive upgrades available, including somewhat hidden abilities, like Trade (armourer) and Evaluate.  Early on (Rank 4) you can get some Artificer armor, which offers 13 AC to each location (as it is always master crafted).  Opting to purchase a cybernetic in each location increases your toughness by 2 regardless of hit location.  Masking Screen decreases enemy accuracy, and storm shield deflects shots while also increasing AC.  (Depending on the reading of the rules, this may be interpreted as an illegal combination)

By the time you get your Machinator Array, your TB will be 18 in each location.  Your AC will eventually be 13 base, +5 for The Flesh is Weak, +4 to multiple locations from your shield, +1 for master crafted Masking Screen, +2 for blessing your armor.  Total average AC: 23

A shot of 41 will do no damage.  With high dodge and defensive stance, you will automatically dodge the first two attacks per round, then have a 45% chance of deflecting additional shots (storm shield). 

THE BAD

Defensive stance always takes a full action, which means you can't move in the least, and everyone else will have to move to get behind you.

Ultramarines offer no distinctly defensive upgrade options or powers.  Some chapters have excellent defensive options, but you will give up your extra toughness, suffering two extra damage per hit.

Chapter trappings and Storm Shield improve Parry, which is practically worthless to this build.

Guarded Attack becomes worthless to this build (Dodge is already at 95+ percent), and thus the bonus gained from your Storm Shield.  (If only Storm Shields let you use Defensive Stance as a half action, and you could move a little).

 

I tested with my Rank 1 character, and survived 10 out of 10 test Lascannon shots, without critical damage.  But I want to tweak the build more.

 

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I would think the Dark Angels abilities - both solo and squad - would make for a far better tank than a mere +5 Toughness from being an Ultramarine.  Extra wounds (solo) or extra armour and a dodge bonus (squad) make for a pretty tough nut to crack, especially with the Techmarine ability to improve cover.

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Scoates said:

 

I'm trying to make an effective tank class in Deathwatch.  Partly because I feel like I'm not supposed to.  However, I am encountering a lot of problems, and I was hoping we could pool our ideas to improve the concept.

 

 

Maybe because you are not playing an MMO or an RPG trying to apeal to an MMO audience.

A very good rule of thumb for any RPG is to never force a player to have only one function. The ideas presented in multiple threads that you must pick X Chapter, X Specialty, and X Talents to be good at something is silly to say the least.

I would suggest stop trying to Win the game and start trying to Play the game.

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One big problem I see with a tank character: If the enemies choose to attack your allies, your tank becomes worthless. So how do you plan to make the enemies attack you instead of your allies ?

Instead of the enemies leaving you until after they have killed the Space Marines that are actually hurting them.

 

Using Guild Wars as an MMO example, tanking characters were useful in PvE there because the NPCs were rather dumb. However when you went into PvP, tanking became a bad idea because you wouldn't be doing much DPS and players would be smart enough to attack someone else. Usually someone easier to kill who was dealing more DPS.

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It is already easy enough to maximize dodge (70 natural, +20 for skill, +10 for signature wargear) so I don't find increased dodge very useful.  But the armor certainly is.

As for solo mode, starting out, the additional +2 to your toughness bonus is worth more than 6 wounds, since it will likely take more than three shots to kill you.  I hadn't noticed how high it gets on higher ranks though.   Still, it depends if you are taking lots of scrapes, or single massive hits.  Personally, I would still take the Ultramarine's bonuses,

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Right, I forgot to list aggro in my list of complications.  Currently, we're fighting Tyranids, which means I mostly just need to stand in front.  When we are in cover against ranged fire, I tend to make myself the most visible target.

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 I find requisitioning unneeded cybernetics to be pretty anti-fluff, and it would not fly in any game that I run.  Barring the couple of chapters with the 'must replace all organics' it's just not done.  If fully augmetic marines were really that much stronger, why wouldn't the imperium just use Battle servitors or force all marines to be fully cybered to begin with.  

 

Truthfully, Space Marines are already so tough, I'd be willing to rule the cybernetics actually had no effect (removing the +T bonus) or possibly decreased their toughness.  The cybernetic would then exist either for fluff (Iron Hands and what not) or to replace battle damage.  Exceptional versions would still give their bonus, but I don't think Requisition is the tool for getting those.  It's really not 'fair' that most marines have to spend xp (Signature Wargear) to get improved gear that they keep, but cybernetics are characteristic increases that are essentially free.

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The idea of a single tactic specific class is, in my view, unimaginative. Assault, Tactical and Devastators can all act as a Tank in one form or another depending on the situation they are in and the battle field at hand. This roll can also be fluid between these classes as a combat progresses through an encounter.

The idea of a class that's purpose is to do nothing but stand in one place, being a giant slab of armor and toughness, for no other reason than to draw fire just seems strange. This roll is more suited to a Rhino, a Land Raider, or even an Imperial Guard regiment rather than a space marine.

 

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Scoates said:

Right, I forgot to list aggro in my list of complications.  Currently, we're fighting Tyranids, which means I mostly just need to stand in front.  When we are in cover against ranged fire, I tend to make myself the most visible target.

How do you plan to remain the most visible target when everyone else is shooting ?

 

If you do that, how do you keep your allies from being visible enough to be targeted ?

 

How do you keep your character useful when the battle becomes melee ?

If your tank is good enough that you don't care about allies hitting you, and you can keep the foe in melee with you*, then you could be useful if you do that while your allies shoot you both. But that would only work when you face a few foes at a time, facing an equal number of elite foes could be a problem. Then you have hordes to worry about.

 

*Grapple is the only option that comes to mind, though that would make it impossible for you to dodge.

 

Aggro is the biggest problem with a tanking character. If you can't solve it, then your tanking character will be a useless team member.

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ItsUncertainWho said:

The idea of a single tactic specific class is, in my view, unimaginative. Assault, Tactical and Devastators can all act as a Tank in one form or another depending on the situation they are in and the battle field at hand. This roll can also be fluid between these classes as a combat progresses through an encounter.

The idea of a class that's purpose is to do nothing but stand in one place, being a giant slab of armor and toughness, for no other reason than to draw fire just seems strange. This roll is more suited to a Rhino, a Land Raider, or even an Imperial Guard regiment rather than a space marine.

 

 

Well, if any player of mine would try this, he'd eventually end up in a situation where the Tau or some Chaos forces would call for off-table support.

 

Still I find this to be entertaining as a philosophical debate. Btw, I suggest a DA Epistolary with Force Dome and Force Barrier (yes, they should be compatible).  80 AP against ranged and all ranged weapons have Pen 0. Only 30 AP in melee though. (And I didn't even maximize possible PR here).

Sounds like an adequate invul save. gui%C3%B1o.gif

 

Alex

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 Want toughness?  Get a Dark Angel.

 

Want a taunt?  Get a Storm Warden.

 

Class?  Librarian works nicely, but they can all be made to function that way, once you get terminator armor or you the proper legacy.

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ak-73 said:

Well, if any player of mine would try this, he'd eventually end up in a situation where the Tau or some Chaos forces would call for off-table support.

 

I'd rather entertain the idea of EMP grenades - much simpler :)

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decPL said:

ak-73 said:

 

Well, if any player of mine would try this, he'd eventually end up in a situation where the Tau or some Chaos forces would call for off-table support.

 

 

I'd rather entertain the idea of EMP grenades - much simpler :)

 

Good point. Otoh, off-table support might send the right signal to the kill-team and give a hint to the player how to not approach "character" building with his next character.

 

Alex

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Bilateralrope said:

Scoates said:

 

Right, I forgot to list aggro in my list of complications.  Currently, we're fighting Tyranids, which means I mostly just need to stand in front.  When we are in cover against ranged fire, I tend to make myself the most visible target.

 

 

Aggro is the biggest problem with a tanking character. If you can't solve it, then your tanking character will be a useless team member.

With this, the Storm Wardens have a solo ability that can cover it, but only in melee.  Against hordes, melee is a great place to die horribly...

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HappyDaze said:

Bilateralrope said:

 

Scoates said:

 

Right, I forgot to list aggro in my list of complications.  Currently, we're fighting Tyranids, which means I mostly just need to stand in front.  When we are in cover against ranged fire, I tend to make myself the most visible target.

 

 

Aggro is the biggest problem with a tanking character. If you can't solve it, then your tanking character will be a useless team member.

 

With this, the Storm Wardens have a solo ability that can cover it, but only in melee.  Against hordes, melee is a great place to die horribly...

 

Two problems with that ability:

 - It ends when another player attacks the challenged enemy. Thus limiting the tanks usefulness against powerful single enemies.

 - It can only affect one target per combat.

 

It also requires the PC using it to stick to melee attacks or moving towards the target, meaning defensive stance is out. Guarded Attack would still count though. But that just shows that the tank would have to be built around the aggro solution.

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 I really don't see how this makes a useful techmarine.

With every last point of xp going into things  that benefit keeping you alive I don't really see how this is individual is going to be able work with machines.

And I think you are going to be in quite a lot of trouble as soon as the GM looks in chapter six, someone that tough is begging to be hit by Dominate, Blood Boil, Holocaust, Exanguinate, Soul Killer, or Inferno. Or really any powerful offensive psychic power, seeing as many of them don't particularly CARE about how high your TB is or how many points of armor you have. And because TM's don't exactly have easy WP upgrades I really doubt you psychic defence will be incredibly good. Of course, that means you should probably run away from anyone with Whispers of the Warp, that would really suck.

Of course most of the SM killing powers aren't in the Deathwatch book, which is odd because they would be most useful there.

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One issue with your initial post is that artificer armor only has 12 AP (as you said it is always master crafted, so that's the value in the chart, look at the weight of it compared to regular power armor).  There would be no point in having a value in the chart for common quality artificer armor as it is always master crafted.

So tech marines will be able to take the most damage to start with. but once others get artificer/terminator armor and other abilities then it won't matter much.  Librarians get some good defensive abilities at higher ranks too, along with the ultramarine power of healing.

As others have said, all marines can take a fair bit of damage, some of the gameplay is driven towards the best defense is an unstoppable offense.  It is interesting to see how much they can take damage-wise though.

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If it were listed as 13 AP, then it would go up to 14 for being master-crafted.  The line had to be drawn somewhere.  If that extra AP is already included, then that needs to be stated somewhere.

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In my experience, tanks in a pen and paper RPG are usually your damage horses as well.  Dress up the Devestator with some extra amor (artificer, etc.), have him focus on BS and Toughness, and you've got a tank with a turret, not just a meat shield.

That eliminates some of the concern of what happens when the rest of your squad is in sight, etc. - if you're the one spitting out fire from a heavy bolter or lascannon, you have become a big target.  If you're not doing damage, the enemies aren't completely stupid (and are controlled by the GM, a human, not a computer AI that follows the rule 'must focus on target x when ability y is active), and they're going to go after your friends.  This also lets the character play to their strengths and really excel in their skill tree.

 

 

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ItsUncertainWho said:

The idea of a single tactic specific class is, in my view, unimaginative. Assault, Tactical and Devastators can all act as a Tank in one form or another depending on the situation they are in and the battle field at hand. This roll can also be fluid between these classes as a combat progresses through an encounter.

The idea of a class that's purpose is to do nothing but stand in one place, being a giant slab of armor and toughness, for no other reason than to draw fire just seems strange. This roll is more suited to a Rhino, a Land Raider, or even an Imperial Guard regiment rather than a space marine.

 

The idea of a "Tank" marine as a member of the Deathwatch also works contrary to the idea of the Deathwatch and Space Marines in general. While Space Marines DO have to "Hold the line" at times, they are not meant to be a static figure on the battlefield, even less so within the Deathwatch. They are meant to be a mobile strike force which can adapt its tactics as needed at all times and survive it atleast long enough to accomplish the task.  It's why Space Marines can do so many things.

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Scoates said:

If it were listed as 13 AP, then it would go up to 14 for being master-crafted.  The line had to be drawn somewhere.  If that extra AP is already included, then that needs to be stated somewhere.

You stated yourself that it only exists as master-crafted.

If it only exists as master-crafted and the only stats we have for it are 12 AP, then logically those 2 are one in the same.  It is like a matching game where you only have 1 item on each side, it means those 2 go together.

Besides that, as I said look at the weight of the artificer armor.  Common power armor 180 kg, artificer 100 kg.  If as you say you apply the master-crafting to both then they become master-craft power armor 90 kg for 9/11 AP, and master-craft artificer armor 50 kg for 13 AP.  I'm sorry, but mostly 4 more AP and a reduction of encumberance to that level just doesn't make sense, even without the obvious above argument.

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I can't understand the way of thinking apply to games by a lot of player. This is RPG, role playing, not what can I do to be THE BEST, OF THE BEST, OF THE BEST, OF ..... You are not here to challenge the rules but to have fun with other people. it is not a computer game. I find this so sad.

I'm playing RPG for 18 years now and still unable to comprehend this way of thinking. Please try to create a character with personnality, weakness and strength before trying to get the best of the rules ( the worse for me). Create something interresting to play ( and I mean ROLE PLAY). Something that will give you fun but more, it will also be a joy for some to play at your side.

RPG need characteristics for simulating things, but number are not the game. Role playing is.

Btw you are playing SM what else are you needing to be a tank? Maybe a land raider would help. Look at what you got, all SM are tanks even in rank 1with no other needs that playing them well. Even the Imperial Fist build stronghold to defend place with lots of armor plate sand bags etc... Even facing Horus on Terra they were behind concrete walls and bunkers. If you wanna play a tank dig a hole put sand bags and armor plating, brace your heavy weapon take more ammo but look at the sky and the falling bombs.

The strength of the Sm are in their mobility, quick and effective actions. Not being heavy, slow and so easy to break. You are playing in a place where Titan and star cruiser are. Put whatever armor you will it won't save you.

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IF you are really looking to see exactally how much damage you can get rid of, try this : Generally in my experiance deathwatch games start with a pod. Use your servo arm(s) to rip off  Sheets of plasteel from the pod, bend them into a C shape, and let your servo arm(s) hold them infront of you, whille your natural arms hold your weapons. With your int bonus to improve the cover, + TB, you will have somthing like 59 dam reduction per sheet of plasteel in basic power armor.

 

but  expect your GM to take swift vengence on you with an orbital melta torpedo centered on your forehead should you do it

 

 

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MikeBroChill said:

 

IF you are really looking to see exactally how much damage you can get rid of, try this : Generally in my experiance deathwatch games start with a pod. Use your servo arm(s) to rip off  Sheets of plasteel from the pod, bend them into a C shape, and let your servo arm(s) hold them infront of you, whille your natural arms hold your weapons. With your int bonus to improve the cover, + TB, you will have somthing like 59 dam reduction per sheet of plasteel in basic power armor.

 

but  expect your GM to take swift vengence on you with an orbital melta torpedo centered on your forehead should you do it

- Cover degrades overtime

- lacks any sealth

- destroying a property of the DW is probably an offence of some kind. I.e. Drop pods are still holy relics of technologies and to willingly destroy them is anathema to the Omissua and something a TECH Marine should be against anyway!

 

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