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Kilbourne

Hive Tyrant down in one turn.

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I am GMing a Deathwatch game and we just finished our first session of the Core Rulebook's mission.

It's the last fight, the Kill-Team is heading towards the comm array to link up with the Guardsman they saved for extraction. A Hive Tyrant shows up with a few warriors and a Horde of Termagaunts and Hormagaunts.

The Team's Devastator, a Space Wolf named Zyngvar (My girlfriend), has just killed the Hive Tyrant with her Heavy Bolter by roll an 00/3 and 7 righteous furies...so there goes my big boss fight.

*Lots of proxies in there. The group's Techmarine is trying to repair the Magos and call in the extraction.

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same thing happened in my game, we have a BA devastator in the group and he killed it with 6 RFs. i think the they have the hive tyrant a little underpowered, i could be wrong but a one round take down of a hive tyrant by a rank one PC just doesnt sound right or do the nids' justice.

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radrac said:

same thing happened in my game, we have a BA devastator in the group and he killed it with 6 RFs. i think the they have the hive tyrant a little underpowered, i could be wrong but a one round take down of a hive tyrant by a rank one PC just doesnt sound right or do the nids' justice.

 

Make it a flying hive tyrant with a lot of sneaky tactics and you have a dead marine squad.... Hive Tyrants are INTELLIGENT (yea heresy i know), they can be very intelligent.

Why do a frontal assault when you can crash through a wall etc?

genestealers are master in sneaky back stab assault too.

Next time I would suggest scaring your marines a little more, make the hive tyrant "borrow" through a bridge and assault directly the marines then withdraw (bridge falls, etc). They will learn to fear the tyrant and pray for the RF!

 

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1. Do not use the rulebook version of Righteous Fury, it has been errata'd.

2. Nerf all Bolt Weapons, especially the HB. My recommendation is shaving 2 to 4 points from all Bolt Weapons and reducing the ROF of the HB by 3 or 4 shots.

 

The HB is way overpowered with the ROF acting as potential multiplier for the high damage. Various talents and special ammo compound to this.

 

And remember this: the kill-team must be able to get rid of the Hive Tyrant quickly as he can kill one or two Space Marines within one turn of close combat. There are no elaborate boss fights as in other systems; it's kill or be killed.

 

Alex

 

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ak-73 said:

2. Nerf all Bolt Weapons, especially the HB. My recommendation is shaving 2 to 4 points from all Bolt Weapons and reducing the ROF of the HB by 3 or 4 shots.

  

Why, might I ask? It's a more powerful version of the human sized boltguns used by non-augmented humans, and still packs the .75 caliber mass-reactive shell...

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Good and lucky rolls, according to the scenario, it has that massive horde rolling up the ramp towards the party, I figured that yeah, there was no way those bugs were making it up the ramp and into close combat so I scrapped it and made it a flying encounter (gargoyles which were flying termagaunts... which is pretty much what gargs are, 3 shrikes with the 2d10 damage brain worms and a flying melee hive tyrant).  The bugs burst from cloud cover and my marines (3 rank 4 marines, 1 tech, 1 lib, 1 dev) had 1 round of fire before the tyrant was on them.  The dev actually spent his time dueling with the warriors, because with a possibility of being hit by 12 2d10 hits (this was before the storm errata) and no way to dodge them all, it was more important.  The tyrant was in melee with the librarian & techmarine while the dev dealt with the aerial gunnery.  Both marines were into crit when the Tyrant finally died (as was the dev by the end of the encounter).  It would have been much... much worse (and I feel bad for my PCs next time) with the errata, as psychic shriek and 2 fate dice will have made that encounter a burn fate points affair.

You really want your hive tyrant to kill stuff? Give it tyrant guard, and make it a swarmlord (4 boneswords).  The tyrantguard can use... I would think, the Bodyguard talent from Rogue Trader and take the damage for the Tyrant, and then the Tyrant itself is wielding 4 force weapons, with unnatural willpower and a willpower in the 70s.  Will probably 1 shot most marines and even survive into combat to do that.  You REALLY want to stack the deck against the ranged folks withotu having to wield the nerf bat? throw in some venomthropes so their cloud of -30 to hit with bs covers. 

Remember, design and tactics are 99% of the time better than wielding the nerf bat.

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Second that, you made a nasty encounter, I love it. Very DW IMO.

 

I personally favor the choose your devil, on one side a charging band of stealers (10-20) on the other side a Tyrant with the gaunt swarm... The Genestealers will make contact with the dev and the tyrant with the tactical marine or main battle front simultaneously, which devil will you choose? Oh lets not forget the stealers digging under the platform that will burst just at the "right" time.

Also forces the different classes into action, the assault may simply charge the tyrant to give is man time, the dev may take the stealers charge and simply bring down the tyrant and die like a man to the stealers for the objective, etc.

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Hiromoon said:

ak-73 said:

 

2. Nerf all Bolt Weapons, especially the HB. My recommendation is shaving 2 to 4 points from all Bolt Weapons and reducing the ROF of the HB by 3 or 4 shots.

  

 

 

Why, might I ask? It's a more powerful version of the human sized boltguns used by non-augmented humans, and still packs the .75 caliber mass-reactive shell...

Fluff wise the damage makes sense, but when introduced to the game system at large bolt weapons become overpowered very quickly (secialty ammo, special talents, compared to other weapons, combined with autofire, combined with the huge bonuses to hit, combined with the high BS of marines, etc., etc., etc.).  Search any thread with hive tyrant or heavy bolter in it and you'll see examples of their ridiculousness.

And FWIW, AK's nerfs still make them superior to 'human sized boltguns', they're just less powerful than the RAW, and help make them feel a little bit better.

But to the OP: search this forum for ideas, but I've found planning encounters in DW is more intensive than other games.  Simple encounters can get boring in a hurry due to the Marines massive damage output and high resistance.  Hostower and the other's ideas are spot on here.

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Hiromoon said:

ak-73 said:

 

2. Nerf all Bolt Weapons, especially the HB. My recommendation is shaving 2 to 4 points from all Bolt Weapons and reducing the ROF of the HB by 3 or 4 shots.

  

 

 

Why, might I ask? It's a more powerful version of the human sized boltguns used by non-augmented humans, and still packs the .75 caliber mass-reactive shell...

 

Because it's the most effective weapon against hordes and more effective than multi-meltas or plasma weapons against master class enemies which leads to hordes and master class enemies evaporating before the firepower of even just a single HB, not to mention half a kill-team equipped with it. Thus making it the DW weapon of ultimate use.

Where in 40K TT the HB has 3x the ROF of a Multi-Melta, it has 10x the ROF in DW. If you do 25 damage to a Hive Tyrant with a MM, you only need one attack with 8 hits, each doing an average of 4 to the Hive Tyrant to outshoot the Multi-Melta. Not to mention specialty ammunition. Not to mention that stuff like Crack Shot will give your MM +2 to final damage and the HB anything between +2 to +20.

Once your players get the hang of it, they will almost only use the HB.

 

Take a look at the first two official missions Extraction and Shadow of Madness: you can blast the xenos presented into oblivion with such mass HB fire. Totally unbalancing. A Kroot horde of 35 is nothing. It will vanish in one round. Just like my Tyranid Prime in Oblivion's Edge. Or a mag 30 horde of Termagaunts.

You get the idea.

 

As for Brother Hostower's scenario: sure the players cannot win an arms race against the GM. However if your players are like my players, they will be s**t-scared for all the following missions and they will start to maximize their effectiveness in a manner that I won't appreciate.

Try not nerfing the bolt weapons against a KT of this composition:

- (BA) Assault with two chainswords
- Librarian with Force Sword and Smite, meltagun for armour
- 3 Marines (Devs, Tacs, Techs, Apos) with Heavy Bolters and special ammo each, at least one Dev among them

At the end of every mission where you want to provide a challenge, they will stand on a mountain of slain xenos.

And we are not talking about high rank PCs here. Rank 2 maybe.

 

Alex

 

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Addendum: okay, some mathhammer.

Tactical Marine: 2d10+10 (+2 crack shot +2 bolt mastery +2 master-crafted) with Kraken rounds for 2d10+16 Pen 8 Tearing. ROF -/-/11 (Bolter Drill).
I'd say that about 12 damage points get through on average. Multiply by number of hits against huge enemy that gets fired at with full-auto, augmented by weapon upgrades or abilities of all kinds. An average of 8 hits should be possible; on a good roll you're HT is one-shotted. "Hive guards only? I'll start distributing hits!"

That is one Tactical Marine with HB, imagine another Dev with HB. Against hordes it's not better. You'll see them melt like snow in the sun; it'll be 1945 for you all over.

 

Alex

 

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crisaron said:

You always give your player a Clear line of sight?

Man my players would love you.

 

Well, read Oblivions's Edge (or Extraction) and weep. And even with tree cover the mag 35 Kroot horde from Shadow of Madness is nothing if they players can have a turn of shooting.

And if your xenos take cover instead of assaulting, chances are they will be outshot by the HBs. Not to mention overwatch to evaporate anyone who puts a toe out of cover in order to charge your team. 3 HBs is an unholy amount of firepower. You mix a SB with Hellfire rounds in there though, depending on mission.

 

Alex

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ak-73 said:

Because it's the most effective weapon against hordes and more effective than multi-meltas or plasma weapons against master class enemies which leads to hordes and master class enemies evaporating before the firepower of even just a single HB, not to mention half a kill-team equipped with it. Thus making it the DW weapon of ultimate use.

No matter how many times I see comments of this sort made, I look at my group and consider what they're capable of. Sure, a Devastator with a Heavy Bolter can deal out huge amounts of damage... but it's nothing I've not been able to plan for.

Part of that is completely changing Righteous Fury - no extra damage, just a 1d5 roll on the Critical table - which caps the amount of damage weapons can achieve. Part of it is simply being aware of the potential lethality of a BS73 Devastator wearing Death is Joy armour and using Unrelenting Devastation (who can achieve an absolute maximum of 33 magnitude damage right at the moment, without special ammo - 10 hits, +1 for Explosive, +11 for Unrelenting Devastation and a further +11 for Death is Joy). Part of it is that I tend to write my own rules for adversaries I plan to use, tailoring them to my preferred interpretations and keeping my players on their toes... and I tend to scale the bad guys up a little (in 40k, everyone is turned up to 11; the enemies of man should not be overlooked in this regard).

ak-73 said:

Where in 40K TT the HB has 3x the ROF of a Multi-Melta, it has 10x the ROF in DW.

Hardly an appropriate comparison - rate of fire works differently in each game, and each is subject to different abstractions, as I've gone into detail about in other threads.

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N0-1_H3r3 said:

Where in 40K TT the HB has 3x the ROF of a Multi-Melta, it has 10x the ROF in DW.

 

Hardly an appropriate comparison - rate of fire works differently in each game, and each is subject to different abstractions, as I've gone into detail about in other threads.

 

We understand that. It just doesn't change the fact that it can be used to ramp the damage the HB can dish out.

 

The problem with all of that is that choosing the HB (alternatively: the Storm Bolter) at the start of the mission is a no-brainer as it dominates both hordes and master-class enemies. Plasma gun and meltagun are like meh. Plasma Cannon and Multi-Melta not needed unless you expect to face mech. It would be nice if these weapons were more balanced against each other so that the players would have to make more of a strategical choice. And it would be nice to see more mixed weaponry in kill-teams also.

And then you have inner party balance issues: in Oblivion's Edge the Dev evaporated hordes and he nearly one-shotted the Prime. The other weapons more like zip-zip in comparison. 21 mag damage vs 4 or 5. And about 90 damage vs. the Prime in one burst. Makes a deadly Force Sword look like.. yeah, okay.

 

Alex

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ak-73 said:

The problem with all of that is that choosing the HB (alternatively: the Storm Bolter) at the start of the mission is a no-brainer as it dominates both hordes and master-class enemies. Plasma gun and meltagun are like meh. Plasma Cannon and Multi-Melta not needed unless you expect to face mech. It would be nice if these weapons were more balanced against each other so that the players would have to make more of a strategical choice. And it would be nice to see more mixed weaponry in kill-teams also.

And then you have inner party balance issues: in Oblivion's Edge the Dev evaporated hordes and he nearly one-shotted the Prime. The other weapons more like zip-zip in comparison. 21 mag damage vs 4 or 5. And about 90 damage vs. the Prime in one burst. Makes a deadly Force Sword look like.. yeah, okay.

My point is, that the situation may not be as bad as it appears in practice - statistics tell you the likelihood of how the dice fall, etc, but the details of the game in practice often provide wrinkles that can't easily be accounted for by blind statistics, tactics and terrain being the biggest factors, which are overcome by choices, rather than random chance. By way of an example from my own campaign, 3 magnitude 60 hordes of Hormagaunts, moving through a city (shortened lines of sight, limits utility of long weapons range, reduces time to target from the gaunts), emerge into view  a little under 150m away (due to my custom Hormagaunts, that's 2 turns before they hit melee, meaning only 1 turn of unhindered fire... a Devastator can take out just over 1/6th of the entire swarm before they hit, so the situation becomes more about coordinated defence and tactics to repel the onslaught. Without the aptly-named Devastator, the swarms may be too great to overcome in a timely manner... but the Devastator can't do it alone.

Scene framing and appropriate structure to a combat ("appropriate" being dependent upon the nature and inclinations of the group) make a really big difference. Now, I wouldn't complain if the Heavy Bolter got knocked down a peg or two, but I don't see it as strictly necessary in a game where the GM knows about and accounts for what they can do.

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N0-1_H3r3 said:

ak-73 said:

The problem with all of that is that choosing the HB (alternatively: the Storm Bolter) at the start of the mission is a no-brainer as it dominates both hordes and master-class enemies. Plasma gun and meltagun are like meh. Plasma Cannon and Multi-Melta not needed unless you expect to face mech. It would be nice if these weapons were more balanced against each other so that the players would have to make more of a strategical choice. And it would be nice to see more mixed weaponry in kill-teams also.

 

And then you have inner party balance issues: in Oblivion's Edge the Dev evaporated hordes and he nearly one-shotted the Prime. The other weapons more like zip-zip in comparison. 21 mag damage vs 4 or 5. And about 90 damage vs. the Prime in one burst. Makes a deadly Force Sword look like.. yeah, okay.

 

My point is, that the situation may not be as bad as it appears in practice - statistics tell you the likelihood of how the dice fall, etc, but the details of the game in practice often provide wrinkles that can't easily be accounted for by blind statistics, tactics and terrain being the biggest factors, which are overcome by choices, rather than random chance. By way of an example from my own campaign, 3 magnitude 60 hordes of Hormagaunts, moving through a city (shortened lines of sight, limits utility of long weapons range, reduces time to target from the gaunts), emerge into view  a little under 150m away (due to my custom Hormagaunts, that's 2 turns before they hit melee, meaning only 1 turn of unhindered fire... a Devastator can take out just over 1/6th of the entire swarm before they hit, so the situation becomes more about coordinated defence and tactics to repel the onslaught. Without the aptly-named Devastator, the swarms may be too great to overcome in a timely manner... but the Devastator can't do it alone.

Scene framing and appropriate structure to a combat ("appropriate" being dependent upon the nature and inclinations of the group) make a really big difference. Now, I wouldn't complain if the Heavy Bolter got knocked down a peg or two, but I don't see it as strictly necessary in a game where the GM knows about and accounts for what they can do.

 

Two points:
a) the game can swing in the other direction too - players rolling way better than average. If that happens once or twice, they'll get the impression that the game is not balanced and can't handle the firepower of even low rank marines.
b) sure it can be run as is but I am advocating that taking bolters down a notch makes for a more interesting game.

 

Alex

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N0-1_H3r3 said:

Part of that is completely changing Righteous Fury - no extra damage, just a 1d5 roll on the Critical table - which caps the amount of damage weapons can achieve.

I've been meaning to ask you: do you apply this rule to everybody? In a combat with many assailants (say, 7-10), it seems that the record-keeping could become cumbersome. I do really like your system, so I'm curious as to how you address this.

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ak-73 said:

 

- (BA) Assault with two chainswords
- Librarian with Force Sword and Smite, meltagun for armour
- 3 Marines (Devs, Tacs, Techs, Apos) with Heavy Bolters and special ammo each, at least one Dev among them

At the end of every mission where you want to provide a challenge, they will stand on a mountain of slain xenos.

And we are not talking about high rank PCs here. Rank 2 maybe.

 

Alex

 

 

 

You're letting everyone have a HB? I think I've discovered your problem.

Also, the HB is a solid 1.00 caliber weapon.

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Hiromoon said:

ak-73 said:

 

- (BA) Assault with two chainswords
- Librarian with Force Sword and Smite, meltagun for armour
- 3 Marines (Devs, Tacs, Techs, Apos) with Heavy Bolters and special ammo each, at least one Dev among them

At the end of every mission where you want to provide a challenge, they will stand on a mountain of slain xenos.

And we are not talking about high rank PCs here. Rank 2 maybe.

 

Alex

 

 

 

You're letting everyone have a HB? I think I've discovered your problem.

Also, the HB is a solid 1.00 caliber weapon.

 

The problem isn't that everyone has one (although the specialties mentioned are free to pick one, they have been trained in its use after all). If there was only 1 HB and 2 SB or 2 HB and 1 SB, it would still be very powerful.

The problem arises in comparison. 3 Plasma Cannons would be much less effective. Or 1 Plasma Cannon and 2 Plasma Guns. Hordes become a severe threat. You can't take down Hive Tyrants as easy as with the Heavy Bolters. Bolt Weapons become a no-brainer choice on most missions.

Granted it might change a bit with vehicle rules. Although there the op nature of the Heavy Bolter becomes apparent too:

Meltagun vs Into The Storm Rhino (Front AP 24, Short Range): 3d10+10 (Crack Shot) Pen 13 -> about 16 points of damage on average (Multi-Melta does 10 to 12 more)

HB vs same Rhino: 2d10+12 (Crack Shot) Tearing Pen 6 -> about 7 pts of damage on average. Per shot. Against a large target in short range on full-auto. Without using special ammo.

 

Do not want.

 

Alex

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In defense of the Rhino, heavy bolters on the table top can also rip a Rhino to bits... so can a tau pulse rifle.  If the rhino's point cost wasn't dirt cheap, it would be the worst troop transport in the game (as at least the Dark Eldar paper airplane can get a 4+ cover save from going really fast... <.< >.> ) maybe ork trukks could be considered worse... but that's ork vehicles,and you don't expect them to be armored like a land raider lol.

and yes, Extraction's final "fight" is an open field day.  However, kroot hordes in the trees, with dodge +20 and an agi of 60 will happily negate MOST firepower coming their way without concentrated fire of multiple attackers (and when they hit, they can hit HARD) and they have incredible stealth.  in their home terrain, we've been getting ambushed left and right with our auspex character getting 2-6 successes and NOT seeing them.

and yes, my pc's are particularly afraid of their next encounter with Tyranids (as each time they encounter them, the game has progressed and they've gotten nastier each time through natural game coming out evolution),and none of them have considered going all heavy bolters, because they invariably end up in close combat eventually... though our tac marine keeps eyeing dual wielding storm bolters with chain attachments.

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ddunkelmeister said:

I've been meaning to ask you: do you apply this rule to everybody? In a combat with many assailants (say, 7-10), it seems that the record-keeping could become cumbersome. I do really like your system, so I'm curious as to how you address this.

It's not really as cumbersome as it might seem. Critical results 1-5 on each table typically only result in stunning, fatigue or a short-term penalty, which adds a little additional flavour, and weaker enemies injured in this way tend to be slain fairly quickly anyway (within a turn), as the opportunity to reduce the enemy's numbers easily is never overlooked. Bigger, stronger enemies are fewer and further-between, so it's less of a chore to track for them. Hordes can't take crits anyway as they don't take damage normally, so it's ignored for them, leaving only solo enemies like Elites and Masters. Righteous Fury effects from NPCs (I rule that anybody that can suffer from normal critical hits can also inflict Righteous Fury - I use the rule in my Rogue Trader game as well, and it means that the inconsequential mooks who suffer sudden death criticals can't RF) is up to the players to track, as they're the ones suffering the damage.

With the players, the change caps their overall damage, but gives them a chance to get in a lucky hit that means something other than "he's lost wounds", which I've found they enjoy more than a pile of extra damage. With NPCs, the change means that they're less likely to obliterate the players in a single hit, but much more likely to leave lingering, annoying wounds that wear the group down slowly and better represent the wear and tear that warfare-without-end provides.

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N0-1_H3r3 said:

ddunkelmeister said:

I've been meaning to ask you: do you apply this rule to everybody? In a combat with many assailants (say, 7-10), it seems that the record-keeping could become cumbersome. I do really like your system, so I'm curious as to how you address this.

 

It's not really as cumbersome as it might seem. Critical results 1-5 on each table typically only result in stunning, fatigue or a short-term penalty, which adds a little additional flavour, and weaker enemies injured in this way tend to be slain fairly quickly anyway (within a turn), as the opportunity to reduce the enemy's numbers easily is never overlooked. Bigger, stronger enemies are fewer and further-between, so it's less of a chore to track for them. Hordes can't take crits anyway as they don't take damage normally, so it's ignored for them, leaving only solo enemies like Elites and Masters. Righteous Fury effects from NPCs (I rule that anybody that can suffer from normal critical hits can also inflict Righteous Fury - I use the rule in my Rogue Trader game as well, and it means that the inconsequential mooks who suffer sudden death criticals can't RF) is up to the players to track, as they're the ones suffering the damage.

With the players, the change caps their overall damage, but gives them a chance to get in a lucky hit that means something other than "he's lost wounds", which I've found they enjoy more than a pile of extra damage. With NPCs, the change means that they're less likely to obliterate the players in a single hit, but much more likely to leave lingering, annoying wounds that wear the group down slowly and better represent the wear and tear that warfare-without-end provides.

 

I use the Sudden Death rule for anyone who isn't important anyway, so being too cumbersome wouldn't be a problem. But I am currently considering another approach - the old WFRP one of non-stacking Critical Damage. My concern with that is that nerfing bolt weapons and the true grit talent would make Marines hard to kill with bolters.

 

Alex

 

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