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Bolt Weapons; too weak?

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Lynata said:

 

As for the EU, I'd recommend giving it a chance. Just like with any tie-in faction, some of it stinks, but there's a few real gems to be found. Like that comic ("To the Last Man") which is basically a Star Wars version of the movie "Zulu". Good stuff.

 

 

Something I absolutely loathe about the EU is how writers seem to have a tendency of one-upping each other with regards to the Force. In the movies the most powerful jedi in the galaxy require their full concentration to move stuff around or shoot lighting. In the EU, the Force can brainwash whole planets, raise the dead, transform people into slobering mutant monsters and more, and then there's stuff like the god-awful Power of the Force games in which the main character practically juggles Star Destroyers with his mind.

 

Lynata said:

 

 

It's certainly a minor thing; they just add up when you keep looking. Vostroyans also recruiting firstborn daughters instead of just sons, Storm Troopers being assigned to normal squads, any and all las weapons having power settings, …
But that's still nothing compared to the changes made to the Deathwatch, or the introduction of "civilian/mortal" weapons - those things can really change the perception of an entire faction, which is when I start considering it major. Some, or in these cases a lot of people will prefer that to the original vision, but it still ends up splitting the fanbase.

 

 

Vostroyan First Daughters or attached Storm Troopers are the kind of things FFG have done for the game's sake. After all, ever since Dark Heresy the RPG series have massively downplayed how patriarchal the Imperium is. Mixed regiments do exist in the Guard, but they're rare and most commanders consider them a bad idea, but FFG expects both female and male players to want to play the game, so mixed regiments it is, Also, the lasguns assigned to the Guard in the Spinward front have variable settings, but nothing states that every lasgun in the galaxy does, and indeed most lasguns from the other games don't.

Regarding to the "mortal weapons", as you may have gathered by now I don't mind about that at all. When Deathwatch came out it just confirmed what I had always suspected: that the Adeptus Astartes get the very best gear in the Imperium, since they're the very best in the Imperium. And speaking of the Deathwatch, I don't see why you claim that they were vastly changed compared to how they were before. To me they're still the armed branch of the Ordo Xenos, organized in relatively small and versatile kill-teams. They have their own command structure like the Grey Knights or the Sisters of Battle do, but the Inquisition is still the one calling the shots.

Care to elaborate?

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I am, in no way, shape or form, a hardcore 40k loremaster.

So take my 2¢ for what it's worth, which is about 2¢.

Space Marines are supposed to be much stronger, faster, more perceptive, etc than normal humans. Right outside the bell curve, since they start with the best and then improve them. Then they get decades of dedicated and continuous training. Then they get the best gear the Imperium can produce which, this being the imperium, means loot from ancient and forgotten closets.

All told Space Marines are and should be terrifying.

They are not, however, even going to muss Supermans hair. Well, maybe a Librarian, but not for long. Indeed they are not even close to being as scary as the MI from Starship Troopers (the book, not that celluloid abortion of a movie.)

But the MI's job, that is about the job they are supposed to do. If you have a big problem the Navy nukes it from orbit. If you have a normal problem the Imperial Guard buries it under men and ordinance. If you have a tricky problem that calls for dense, mobile, somewhat tough firepower you call the marines. Terror missions, assasination or high value strikes or retrival of somethng you can't afford to destroy. These are the Space Marines raison d'être.

The stuff about 4 scouts with a broken stick and one hand tied behind their back defeating an entire planet? I don't buy it, or at least it wasn't done through military conquest.

Now is a Bolter a Bolter? It shouldn't be. It really shouldn't. A Space Marine's size and strength alone mean he can use a much larger gun than a normal human. And since size corrosponds to strength, that larger weapon can withstand greater stresses. Therefore to not upgrade the SMs firepower while upsizing his weapon is to miss an extremely valuable opportunity. Even if the Bolter rounds are, for whatever reason, the same caliber, the SMs could be the equivalent of +P rounds. (+P rounds are the same size as an existing ammunition type, but use higher loands and/or different propellents to give much higher chamber pressures and thus velocity. You can fire normal ammunition through a +P gun without a hitch but try it the otherway around and you are risking an explosion.) A Space Marines bolter should probably be using the same rounds as a normal heavy bolter.

*checks book* Okay, a Space Marine pistol doing more damage than an Imperial Guard Heavy Bolter? That's just stupid.

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JuankiMan said:

Something I absolutely loathe about the EU is how writers seem to have a tendency of one-upping each other with regards to the Force.

Definitively true. Fortunately, not all authors are like that. It's the same with 40k and Space Marines, really - hence Jes Goodwin's joke about their height. ;)

 

JuankiMan said:

Vostroyan First Daughters or attached Storm Troopers are the kind of things FFG have done for the game's sake.

Oh, I realise that. And I actually thought it was a clever idea*. I'm just saying it's still a different world.

*: for the Storm Trooper, anyways. For the Vostroyan I'd have just said "well pick another regiment then". I mean, you may as well introduce female Space Marines … for the game's sake. :)

JuankiMan said:

They have their own command structure like the Grey Knights or the Sisters of Battle do, but the Inquisition is still the one calling the shots.

But it's not. The Inquisition has zero control over the Deathwatch in FFG's version of the 'verse. Here, the Deathwatch is not a branch of the Ordo Xenos at all, it is an independent ally.

An ally that, unlike their GW version, is not limited to small ad-hoc kill-teams trained and equipped by the Inquisition, but that owns an entire fleet of automated Warp-capable and undetectable "kill ships" loaded with Exterminatus weapons (…wow), armoured columns, Terminator suits, etc pp. Aside from the ranks being totally different as well, for where the Captains were squad leaders in the TT they are the commanders of huge fortresses here.

Judging by various threads created on the subject back when Deathwatch was released, most players actually welcomed this change as they think this level of independence is "cooler than being pushed around by some mook Inquisitor" (I believe that was one comment), and even though I'm inclined to ask "what's the point in playing Deathwatch then?", I think I already know the answer: The Deathwatch was chosen not because it was the Ordo Xenos' Chamber Militant, but because it gave a good excuse to allow players to make a team of Marines from different Chapters -> more freedom for character building, just like with Vostroyan females or the attached Storm Troopers. Makes you see the book's foreword about FFG having "different ideas than the GW team" in a new light, doesn't it?

Either way, people like it, and I suppose that's the most important thing.

 

Andor: That works for this interpretation of the setting, but it's not how Marines were originally written. For starters, they were definitively not the only ones getting "the best gear the Imperium can produce".

As for their weapons, bolt rounds (again, as per GW fluff) leave the barrel at low speed before the rocket motor kicks in, so all the potential explanations for a class division like recoil or chamber pressure are quite simply made up and conflict with existing information.

And it's not just bolt weapons. For some reason, Space Marine flamethrowers burn hotter, Space Marine plasma pistols lob out more superheated gas, and Space Marine lascannons shine brighter than their "civilian/mortal" equivalent. It's rather easy to conjure some technobabble excuse for why this is so ("our promethium is higher quality", "our plasma weapons are better tech", …), but at the end of the day the true reason is "because the writers said so, we don't care what it said elsewhere, and we're using handwavium to justify it".
At this point, I ask only that people at least see it for what it is instead of trying to defend this choice. There's no need to defend a simple personal preference. You either like it or you don't.

I generally like and agree with your description regarding Space Marine "jobs", though. :)

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Lynata said:

 

JuankiMan said:

They have their own command structure like the Grey Knights or the Sisters of Battle do, but the Inquisition is still the one calling the shots.

But it's not. The Inquisition has zero control over the Deathwatch in FFG's version of the 'verse. Here, the Deathwatch is not a branch of the Ordo Xenos at all, it is an independent ally.

An ally that, unlike their GW version, is not limited to small ad-hoc kill-teams trained and equipped by the Inquisition, but that owns an entire fleet of automated Warp-capable and undetectable "kill ships" loaded with Exterminatus weapons (…wow), armoured columns, Terminator suits, etc pp. Aside from the ranks being totally different as well, for where the Captains were squad leaders in the TT they are the commanders of huge fortresses here.

Judging by various threads created on the subject back when Deathwatch was released, most players actually welcomed this change as they think this level of independence is "cooler than being pushed around by some mook Inquisitor" (I believe that was one comment), and even though I'm inclined to ask "what's the point in playing Deathwatch then?", I think I already know the answer: The Deathwatch was chosen not because it was the Ordo Xenos' Chamber Militant, but because it gave a good excuse to allow players to make a team of Marines from different Chapters -> more freedom for character building, just like with Vostroyan females or the attached Storm Troopers. Makes you see the book's foreword about FFG having "different ideas than the GW team" in a new light, doesn't it?

Either way, people like it, and I suppose that's the most important thing.

 

 

Huh, that's funny. That's not the impression I got from the book at all. From my point of view the Deathwatch was expanded upon and looked at in more detail than a few scant paragraphs in the Inquisitor handbook and the Ordo Malleus Dixit from 2003, but not fundamentally changed. After all, there's a lord Inquisitor stationed at all times at Watch Fortress Erioch, and I don't think she's there for the vistas. Of course Space Marines are of the very few people in the Imperium that can say "no" to an Inquisitor and get away with it (the Space Wolves being notorious for it) so even though the Deathwatch is nominally under the Ordo Xenos command, their control is not ironclad.

Now there's things that appeared in Deathwatch that made sense (appeared, not changed because they had never been specifically mentioned before). After all, if Exterminatus is something you do when you're losing how do you pull it off without getting the Exterminatus ships blown to bits when the enemy has full orbital superiority? Automated stealth craft. If it's crewed by servitors you don't have to worry about keeping life support (which might give away your position) or any of the crew getting queasy about their job. I too found it odd that they belonged to the Astartes instead of the Inquisition though.

Also, just like the Space Marines of the Crusade found out, there are things that just can't be accomplished in Power Armour, like clearing a Space Hulk, so what would the DW do in that case? Go bummer and return home? The Deathwatch was mentioned to be a whole Chapter, drawn from other different Chapters but a Chapter nonetheless, and a Chapter has support vehicles and ships to move them around. When the Grey Knights first came out so long ago they had Terminatour Armours and nothing else, mobility be dammned. And about the Fortresses, they're actually quite tiny by Imperial standards. Save Fortress Erioch, they look much smaller than a Ramilies battle station, for example. But it also answers the question of where does the Deathwatch go when they need to refit, resupply or when they're simply off-assignment.

And yes, it is quite obvious why the Deathwatch was chosen. It was chosen for the very same reason the Inquisition was chosen for DH and Rogue Traders chosen for, well, Rogue Trader. Freedom. All three of them are very rare examples of extremely heterogeneous groups of people that often move around the galaxy and are not bound to a draconian duty they MUST fulfill under CONSTANT supervision or someone WILL SHOOT THEM IN THE FACE, all three acting with various degrees of independence from the big institutions in the Imperium. That's why at first I though OW wouldn't work, because the Imperial Guard fundamentally lacks such freedom. I now think they may pull it off, but I also believe it is not gonna be anything more than a niche game. 

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JuankiMan said:

Huh, that's funny. That's not the impression I got from the book at all. From my point of view the Deathwatch was expanded upon and looked at in more detail than a few scant paragraphs in the Inquisitor handbook and the Ordo Malleus Dixit from 2003, but not fundamentally changed. After all, there's a lord Inquisitor stationed at all times at Watch Fortress Erioch, and I don't think she's there for the vistas.

"In this mission, the Ordo Xenos and the Deathwatch are equals, the Inquisitors rooting out the foes for the Deathwatch to eradicate. While neither party is subject to the command of the other, both work in concert towards their common goal, according to those oaths made centuries ago."
-- Deathwatch RPG Core Rulebook, p.305

"The Inquisitor is more of an ambassador than an overseer, and has no direct control over the Watch Commander or his forces. Rather, he provides a link between the two organisations, ensuring that the ancient pact between the two bodies remains in place, for the defence of all Mankind."
-- Deathwatch RPG Core Rulebook, p. 308

contrasted to:

"In battle, each team normally comes under the authority of an Ordo Xenos Inquisitor, but in some exceptional cases, a Deathwatch Captain or Librarian may assume command if circumstances dictate."
-- Index Astartes DW article, p43

"It is clear then that wherever possible it is best if the Inquisition can deal with a threat using its own resources, avoiding the dangerous entanglements that may result from involving other agencies and military forces. It is for this reason that the Inquisition maintains its own fighting formations, foremost amongst them being the Kill-teams of the Deathsatch Space Marines and the daemon-hunting Grey Knights Space Marines."
-- Thorian Sourcebook, p24

So, yeah, very much a different take on this organisation. Ironically, they still bear the Inquisition symbol in FFG's artworks, but I suppose that could be explained as a symbol of their cooperation rather than the Deathwatch actually belonging to the Ordo Xenos.

Other than this and the ranks, I also noticed that the Stalker is now its own bolter model rather than just a type of ammunition as it was in the Chapter Approved Kill-team rules. *shrug*

JuankiMan said:

Of course Space Marines are of the very few people in the Imperium that can say "no" to an Inquisitor and get away with it (the Space Wolves being notorious for it) so even though the Deathwatch is nominally under the Ordo Xenos command, their control is not ironclad.

In the original version, Deathwatch members are recruited, trained and equipped by the Inquisition. Without the Ordo Xenos, the Deathwatch would not exist. This level of control does not exist in FFG's world, of course. The best that an Inquisitor can do here is "recommend" individual Battle Brothers to the Deathwatch.

And the Space Wolves are the Space Wolves and pretty much defy anything we know about the Astartes; they are certainly not the norm. In GW material, Inquisitors have authority even over Space Marine Chapters, and we see what can happen to them if they say "no" by looking at examples such as the Celestial Lions.

JuankiMan said:

Now there's things that appeared in Deathwatch that made sense (appeared, not changed because they had never been specifically mentioned before). After all, if Exterminatus is something you do when you're losing how do you pull it off without getting the Exterminatus ships blown to bits when the enemy has full orbital superiority? Automated stealth craft. If it's crewed by servitors you don't have to worry about keeping life support (which might give away your position) or any of the crew getting queasy about their job.

If you subscribe to Dan Abnett's idea on "Servitor Navigators", sure.

JuankiMan said:

Also, just like the Space Marines of the Crusade found out, there are things that just can't be accomplished in Power Armour, like clearing a Space Hulk, so what would the DW do in that case? Go bummer and return home?

I really don't think there is anything that Terminator suits are used for that is impossible to accomplish in "just" power armour. Would it be harder? Yeah. But at the same time they retain their mobility.

And the Deathwatch used to be a Chapter in name only. No vehicles or spaceships. Index Astartes did say that the Ordo Xenos could requisition such things as the need arises, though - they just did not keep them around. In essence, Deathwatch Captains commanding a Kill-team were given an Inquisitor's privileges (as they basically replaced an Ordo Xenos Inquisitor in this position).

JuankiMan said:

But it also answers the question of where does the Deathwatch go when they need to refit, resupply or when they're simply off-assignment.

This was already answered in the original Chapter Approved Kill-team rules article -> Inquisitorial Fortresses.

JuankiMan said:

And yes, it is quite obvious why the Deathwatch was chosen. It was chosen for the very same reason the Inquisition was chosen for DH and Rogue Traders chosen for, well, Rogue Trader. Freedom.

If it was just individual freedom to move around and do stuff, you could have that in a normal Space Marine Chapter as well - just make it a "quest" or something. The only greater freedom that this form of the Deathwatch offers is that everybody can cherrypick his character to come from the Chapter they like most, regardless of what everybody else chooses.

JuankiMan said:

That's why at first I though OW wouldn't work, because the Imperial Guard fundamentally lacks such freedom. I now think they may pull it off, but I also believe it is not gonna be anything more than a niche game. 

What I think is great about OW is how easily it can be adapted to different playstyles and kinds of characters. I can see a load of modifications being pushed out just because it's so adaptable. Already there is a thread about "DH warbands" using these rules, and the book isn't even released. :)

Other than that, I feel it all depends on the situation you put the player characters into. Sure, they may have no control on which planet to visit next, but on an individual level you may very well have that lone squad operating far from the regiment's main body, in the hinterlands, being cut off, or simply sole survivors trying to get back to friendly lines. It's not like Only War actually has you being one random trooper amongst thousands of others (read: the standard situation) - but more like the various war movies we've grown to love or those novels we read, where the focus lies on an individual squad and its own tale of blood and glory.

In that, I think it is not too different from Dark Heresy and Deathwatch in that the players have no control about their objectives, they just have to find a way to achieve it. I think the only "truly" free RPGs are Black Crusade and Rogue Trader.

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Lynata said:

JuankiMan said:

Huh, that's funny. That's not the impression I got from the book at all. From my point of view the Deathwatch was expanded upon and looked at in more detail than a few scant paragraphs in the Inquisitor handbook and the Ordo Malleus Dixit from 2003, but not fundamentally changed. After all, there's a lord Inquisitor stationed at all times at Watch Fortress Erioch, and I don't think she's there for the vistas.

"In this mission, the Ordo Xenos and the Deathwatch are equals, the Inquisitors rooting out the foes for the Deathwatch to eradicate. While neither party is subject to the command of the other, both work in concert towards their common goal, according to those oaths made centuries ago."
-- Deathwatch RPG Core Rulebook, p.305

"The Inquisitor is more of an ambassador than an overseer, and has no direct control over the Watch Commander or his forces. Rather, he provides a link between the two organisations, ensuring that the ancient pact between the two bodies remains in place, for the defence of all Mankind."
-- Deathwatch RPG Core Rulebook, p. 308

contrasted to:

"In battle, each team normally comes under the authority of an Ordo Xenos Inquisitor, but in some exceptional cases, a Deathwatch Captain or Librarian may assume command if circumstances dictate."
-- Index Astartes DW article, p43

"It is clear then that wherever possible it is best if the Inquisition can deal with a threat using its own resources, avoiding the dangerous entanglements that may result from involving other agencies and military forces. It is for this reason that the Inquisition maintains its own fighting formations, foremost amongst them being the Kill-teams of the Deathsatch Space Marines and the daemon-hunting Grey Knights Space Marines."
-- Thorian Sourcebook, p24

So, yeah, very much a different take on this organisation. Ironically, they still bear the Inquisition symbol in FFG's artworks, but I suppose that could be explained as a symbol of their cooperation rather than the Deathwatch actually belonging to the Ordo Xenos.

It should be noted that FFG were given specific permission to define and flesh out the background of the Deathwatch as a whole (such wide-ranging allowances are rare - defining things beyond the 'sandbox' sectors each game focusses on is often tricky to justify with GW), and matters of the Inquisition (since the release of Inquisitor) have commonly been represented as blended with myths, half-truths and uncertainty (the phrase "Everything you have been told is a lie" being coined with Inquisitor promotional material).

Lynata said:

Other than this and the ranks, I also noticed that the Stalker is now its own bolter model rather than just a type of ammunition as it was in the Chapter Approved Kill-team rules. *shrug*

The Stalker-pattern Bolter was introduced in Codex: Space Marines, wielded by the Ultramarines Special Character, Scout Sergeant Torias Telion. It's not something that FFG have created whole cloth.

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N0-1_H3r3 said:

It should be noted that FFG were given specific permission to define and flesh out the background of the Deathwatch as a whole

Yes, you mentioned that (and it is only logical). We were just discussing the gap between these interpretations of the setting. I have a feeling a lot of people may not notice the various differences between the sources, some minor, some major. In a way, I suppose that for them this might be a good thing. To me it came as a bit of a shock when I realised that the various sources I've read did not actually tie into each other all that well.

There are also a number of fans who prefer this level of freedom, at least that's what I took from various forum discussions on the subject. And authors, of course, though they often sound as if they might feel a need to justify deviations in their work. Gav Thorpe's blogpost in particular was somewhat "defensive", albeit still enlightening.

 

N0-1_H3r3 said:

The Stalker-pattern Bolter was introduced in Codex: Space Marines, wielded by the Ultramarines Special Character, Scout Sergeant Torias Telion. It's not something that FFG have created whole cloth.

Point conceded. I actually mis-remembered that one.

Personally, I hope they return to the original idea some day. It makes little sense to present the gun as a special model when it is obviously just an ordinary boltgun equipped with two add-ons and using a specific kind of ammunition (which is how it was presented in the original CA article as well). You can virtually make any bolter a "Stalker pattern" if you add these things.

Unless I misunserstood the meaning of "pattern" and it does not refer to production models but rather configurations. Hmm…

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Lynata said:

Point conceded. I actually mis-remembered that one.

Personally, I hope they return to the original idea some day. It makes little sense to present the gun as a special model when it is obviously just an ordinary boltgun equipped with two add-ons and using a specific kind of ammunition (which is how it was presented in the original CA article as well). You can virtually make any bolter a "Stalker pattern" if you add these things.

Unless I misunserstood the meaning of "pattern" and it does not refer to production models but rather configurations. Hmm…

No, my understanding also points to pattern being a production model, so if you are mistaken you are definitely not alone :-P. And it may be a little bit late to change the Stalker back to an alternate configuration. I also remember when it used to be such, but FFG has been producing it as a pattern, and even the Space Marine videogame presented the Stalker as its own distinct weapon (it clearly looked like its own model rather than a standard Godwyn pattern with some additions). Obviously neither is GW official, but the Stalker does seem to be becoming a weapon all on its own. 

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Admittedly, I'm going by GW's miniature for the Sergeant, whose weapon appearance still fits to the original description of this gun. I think it actually looks the same in the Deathwatch RPG, too.

Let's not go into the Space Marine computer game - that's a whole other fish to fry. Did you know THQ flat-out said it would take place "in an alternate timeline" as a cop-out when somebody on their forums pointed out that the protagonist should actually be a different character if he's really the Captain of the 2nd Company. Talk about making a creative response… ;)

As for it being a little late to change it, I think GW has been through this once already when you look at hot-shot lasguns -> hellguns -> hot-shot lasguns. That is one of the changes that I know occurred in GW fluff in-between the editions.

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Kiton said:

 

@Arguyle

I'd be fine with them having different dimensions for the same caliber, but that falls into what I'd stated earlier: That it needs to be an affair of loaded ammunition. As things are right now, That Legion bolter and regular human bolt-pistol are both using the same rounds entirely, just like Lasguns use the same charge-pack. You've basically got an RPG or Gyrojet style weapon, but the size of the handle, as opposed to what is loaded in the weapon, is changing a significant amount of damage.

 



they use the same caliber round, that is not the same size and i might be wrong to but to date i remember nothing showing someone swapping the ammo back and forth.  the diffrence between a marine weapon  is the diffrence between the mosin-nagant 91/30 and the nagant 1856 both of them are with in .30 cal but the round is VASTLY different. 
and someone before i could respond made the post that the las weapon clips are different and not always compatible, though the incompatibility has never really been explained.

to lynata

they should have more powerful round for the same reason heavy infantry typically has higher damage equipment, or the sheer fact that a space marine out sizes a human being in and out of armor then the armor adds to the strenght thats already enough to flip a car with ease. something that big and that much of a shock trooper shouldnt be carrying something that could be carried by rank and file. shock troops get better gear.

as for the seven feet tall as i understand it its around seven out of armor and even taller in. could be wrong. could be fluff inaccuracy that GW creates intentionally to cloud the setting up and give those of us who dont live in such a time but enjoy the settting the feeling or idea of how weird it is to live in an age where your toaster is "magic."

 

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Lynata said:

In the original version, Deathwatch members are recruited, trained and equipped by the Inquisition. Without the Ordo Xenos, the Deathwatch would not exist. This level of control does not exist in FFG's world, of course. The best that an Inquisitor can do here is "recommend" individual Battle Brothers to the Deathwatch.

And the Space Wolves are the Space Wolves and pretty much defy anything we know about the Astartes; they are certainly not the norm. In GW material, Inquisitors have authority even over Space Marine Chapters, and we see what can happen to them if they say "no" by looking at examples such as the Celestial Lions.

 

In respect to the service in the Watch, sources are contradictory. The Index Astartes claims that "it's an honor to be chosen", though it  fails to mention who does the choosing: either the Inquisition who demands the service of the Space Marine or the Chapter Master choosing him for service to fulfill their oaths with the Inquisition. On the other hand, the Chapter Approved article clearly and repeatedly claimed that members of the Watch are volunteers. Apparently FFG went with option A.

And man was that a resentful Inquisitor. Still, he had to be surrepticious about it. He couldn't just say "You DARE question me? Off with their heads!". Hell, the Space Worlves are not the only ones that tell the Inquisition to sod off from time to time, the Dark Angels being another good example when they get a whiff of the Unforgiven, and the Salamanders another Chapter vocal in their disdain of how the Imperium at large, and the Inquisition in particular, treat people like mere expendable resources.

Lynata said:

If you subscribe to Dan Abnett's idea on "Servitor Navigators", sure.

 

I personally like the idea of the Prognosticator, a device that can calculate very short jumps through Warp Space without the aid of a Navigator, but if that doesn't roll with you, you could assume that the ship is automated except for a very reduced crew, likely the Captain, a Navigator, an Astropath, a Magos and little else. After all the only mention of those Kill-Ships is a single paragraph on the side of a page.

Lynata said:

I really don't think there is anything that Terminator suits are used for that is impossible to accomplish in "just" power armour. Would it be harder? Yeah. But at the same time they retain their mobility.

 

Extreme levels of radiation, highly toxic and/or corrosive atmospheres, hazardous anomalies (all of which incidentally happen inside Hulks) are things that even power armour and the Space Marine's unnatural constitution can't handle. That's the very reason the Tactical Dreadnought Armour was developed in the first place, which is not only more heavily reinforced, it is completely sealed, has a life support akin to the heaviest void suit and, at least since 3rd edition, is actively shielded. Could it be possible yet harder? Perhaps in some cases, but the Deathwatch doesn't have Space Marines to spare, so if it can get the right tool for the job it would be negligent not to.

 

Lynata said:

And the Deathwatch used to be a Chapter in name only. No vehicles or spaceships. Index Astartes did say that the Ordo Xenos could requisition such things as the need arises, though - they just did not keep them around. In essence, Deathwatch Captains commanding a Kill-team were given an Inquisitor's privileges (as they basically replaced an Ordo Xenos Inquisitor in this position).

 

Now I may be misstepping here since my group plays DH and RT more often than DW and therefore I'm not as familiar with their sourcebooks, but in the Vehicles section in Rites of Battle there's nowhere where it claims that the vehicles that the Kill-Team can requisition actually belong to the Deathwatch. In fact, there's no picture of a vehicle with Deathwatch iconography with the exception of Dreadnoughts. Now, you could say that the Deathwatch never had Dreads before, but then again it was never specifically said that the don't, and these are Space Marines we're talking about. When they say "Eternal Watch" they mean it.

Just the same with Spaceships. The Deathwatch has never been analyzed in such a level of detail before so they never bothered to specify how they move around. After all, their fluff was focused on ground operations, not on the grand scale of things. They may have had their own ships, they may have been ferried by the Inquisition. It was never said and it mattered little.

 

Lynata said:

This was already answered in the original Chapter Approved Kill-team rules article -> Inquisitorial Fortresses.

 

That it does, but the Index Astartes claims that "To guard against the return of these ancient alien races, lonely fortresses orbit desolate worlds on the edge of the galaxy where Deathwatch Space Marines maintain constant vigil", so the concept of Watch Fortresses wasn't entirely FFGs idea after all, and since the Deathwatch and the Inquisition were a lot more close before, these could be the so called "Inquisitorial fortresses" without alteration. After all, the Deathwatch was part of the Inquisition.

 

Lynata said:

If it was just individual freedom to move around and do stuff, you could have that in a normal Space Marine Chapter as well - just make it a "quest" or something. The only greater freedom that this form of the Deathwatch offers is that everybody can cherrypick his character to come from the Chapter they like most, regardless of what everybody else chooses.

  

Regular Space Marines have a duty to Chapter and Primarch and usually act together with their Battle-Brothers. They could be sent on a "quest", but that's usually the exception, not the rule. The Deathwatch, on the other hand, tends to act in more reduced and compact units, perfect to fit a standard RPG group, and their role as "clean crews" for the Inquisition means they tend to operate away from traiditional chains of command. And the chance for every player to roll a Space Marine of his chosen Chapter is such a massive advantage that it was too good to let it pass.

 

Lynata said:

What I think is great about OW is how easily it can be adapted to different playstyles and kinds of characters. I can see a load of modifications being pushed out just because it's so adaptable. Already there is a thread about "DH warbands" using these rules, and the book isn't even released. :)

Other than that, I feel it all depends on the situation you put the player characters into. Sure, they may have no control on which planet to visit next, but on an individual level you may very well have that lone squad operating far from the regiment's main body, in the hinterlands, being cut off, or simply sole survivors trying to get back to friendly lines. It's not like Only War actually has you being one random trooper amongst thousands of others (read: the standard situation) - but more like the various war movies we've grown to love or those novels we read, where the focus lies on an individual squad and its own tale of blood and glory.

In that, I think it is not too different from Dark Heresy and Deathwatch in that the players have no control about their objectives, they just have to find a way to achieve it. I think the only "truly" free RPGs are Black Crusade and Rogue Trader.

 

That's probably the best thing OW has. It works almost best as a template that as the game is intended to be played. For example, a player of mine convinced me to allow him to roll an Eldar for Rogue Trader. Now, making a custom career in the old system is a pain in the ass since it requires choosing skills and talents for several full ranks, so we used a fan-made Eldar class that mix and matched bits of the Assassin and the Sanctioned Psyker (it ended up being OP as hell, but I couldn't have known at the time), but with the new system it couldn't be simpler. Give him some Aptitudes, a few traits and the sky is the limit. The open nature of character progression implies that you can do almost anything with relatively little effort.

The problem of focusing the game on the Guard though, is that the Imperial Guard is an army, and an oppresive one at that. The individual level is the only level in which the players have any freedom. They can't choose where they go, they don't choose their objectives, they often have little control on even how to accomplish such objectives, and they're under constant overwatch and supervision both by their superiors and the ever unfriendly Comissars, which is like having the Sword of Damocles over their heads. In contrast, Acolytes can spend months of even years without seeing their Inquisitor in person and are not only allowed but actually encouraged to use their own initiative. The Deathwatch is more restrictive, but their chain of command is a lot looser than the Guard's.

But yes, I agree that the only truly free RPGs are Black Crusade and Rogue Trader. In Black Crusade you roleplay a villanous little ball of Ego with no allegiance but to himself (which brings its own slew of problems, as anyone who has GM'ed an evil campaign in D&D can testify), while in Rogue Trader the players are their own masters and the galaxy is their oister. Such a massive level of freedom and possibility is as exciting as it is daunting at times which is why Rogue Trader is my group's favourite RPG in the FFG series.

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Arguyle said:

and someone before i could respond made the post that the las weapon clips are different and not always compatible, though the incompatibility has never really been explained.

I believe that is out of some Gaunt's Ghosts novel; I've heard it on the dakka forums once before. Goes against GW fluff as well, though. There's a point as to why the lasgun is "enforced" as a universal weapon, and it kind of gets lost when different models use different chargepacks.

Arguyle said:

as for the seven feet tall as i understand it its around seven out of armor and even taller in. could be wrong.

Yes, that would be wrong. GW has been quite consistent about it. It's really just that external authors like to pursue their own idea of "what's cool", and some people just prefer this over the original vision. The only really bad thing is when these people go around and claim that's the standard, which is when 40k fluff devolves into a little game of Chinese Whispers.

Arguyle said:

something that big and that much of a shock trooper shouldnt be carrying something that could be carried by rank and file. shock troops get better gear.

But the rank and file carry lasguns. Space Marines already get vastly superior gear compared to what the common Guardsman has to do with. If you want their stuff to be still better because the Astartes absolutely have to win at every single game of one-upsmanship ("well our flamethrowers burn even hotter!") because that supposedly makes them "more cool", then that would be personal preference, but not something that necessarily has to be more reasonable than what GW fluff is currently propagating.

 

 

JuankiMan said:

In respect to the service in the Watch, sources are contradictory. The Index Astartes claims that "it's an honor to be chosen", though it  fails to mention who does the choosing: either the Inquisition who demands the service of the Space Marine or the Chapter Master choosing him for service to fulfill their oaths with the Inquisition.

The Chapter Approved article would seem to suggest that Deathwatch members are ultimately recruited by the Inquisition. Also, nowhere in GW fluff does it say that the Deathwatch would have anything like a "Chapter Master". It operates on a completely different level in GW fluff, one where something like a "Chapter Master" is unnecessary because the Inquisition tells them what to do.

JuankiMan said:

On the other hand, the Chapter Approved article clearly and repeatedly claimed that members of the Watch are volunteers.

That's not a contradiction. You can volunteer for duty and still not be chosen.

All in all, I would interpret the available (GW) material in that individual Space Marines within a Chapter can volunteer to become a Deathwatch candidate, then the Master of his Chapter judges their worth and if they'd be able to properly represent them in the Deathwatch, and after that they are offered up to the Inquisition, with someone in the Ordo Xenos either approving or (unlikely, unless there's a history) denying the recruit to join. It could be different, but this way it'd definitively fit to what I've read.

JuankiMan said:

Hell, the Space Worlves are not the only ones that tell the Inquisition to sod off from time to time, the Dark Angels being another good example when they get a whiff of the Unforgiven, and the Salamanders another Chapter vocal in their disdain of how the Imperium at large, and the Inquisition in particular, treat people like mere expendable resources.

It's really just the Space Wolves that deviate from this standard. The Dark Angels, for example, just "walk away" when they sense trouble with an Inquisitor (says so right in their Index Astartes article).

JuankiMan said:

Could it be possible yet harder? Perhaps in some cases, but the Deathwatch doesn't have Space Marines to spare, so if it can get the right tool for the job it would be negligent not to.

I don't think Terminator is necessarily the best thing for boarding actions. Sure it protects you, but it also saps your mobility. Note how the Codex Space Marines mentions Scout squads as often doing boarding actions, and those are even less protected than Tacticals (and still valuable, as they are a Chapter's future).

That said, I'm sure the Inquisition can provide a few suits of Terminator armour in the off chance that it would be deemed absolutely necessary.

JuankiMan said:

Now I may be misstepping here since my group plays DH and RT more often than DW and therefore I'm not as familiar with their sourcebooks, but in the Vehicles section in Rites of Battle there's nowhere where it claims that the vehicles that the Kill-Team can requisition actually belong to the Deathwatch.

"Vehicles make up an essential part of the Deathwatch armoury"
-- Rites of Battle Chapter IV introduction

"Originally a modification introduced by the Fire Lords Chapter of Space Marines, the Land Raider Redeemer's design has spread to many other Chapters, including the Deathwatch."
-- Rites of Battle p174

JuankiMan said:

Now, you could say that the Deathwatch never had Dreads before, but then again it was never specifically said that the don't, and these are Space Marines we're talking about. When they say "Eternal Watch" they mean it.

It was specified in the CA article that Deathwatch kill-teams consist of Tactical Marines, and that's it. Really, all the up-scaling of the Deathwatch into a full Chapter with their own vehicle park and fleets of planet-killing spaceships just made them (to me) actually less unique; now they're just a regular Chapter with members coming from all across the galaxy. They even deploy anti-air tanks and artillery. Honestly, this is the point where, in GW's world, the Inquisition would just send for normal Astartes.

Matter of personal preferences, though. I do realise that *I* am the oddball around here when it comes to what vision they like more.

JuankiMan said:

That's probably the best thing OW has. It works almost best as a template that as the game is intended to be played. For example, a player of mine convinced me to allow him to roll an Eldar for Rogue Trader. Now, making a custom career in the old system is a pain in the ass since it requires choosing skills and talents for several full ranks, so we used a fan-made Eldar class that mix and matched bits of the Assassin and the Sanctioned Psyker (it ended up being OP as hell, but I couldn't have known at the time), but with the new system it couldn't be simpler. Give him some Aptitudes, a few traits and the sky is the limit. The open nature of character progression implies that you can do almost anything with relatively little effort.

Yeah, exactly. :)

JuankiMan said:

They can't choose where they go, they don't choose their objectives, they often have little control on even how to accomplish such objectives, and they're under constant overwatch and supervision both by their superiors and the ever unfriendly Comissars, which is like having the Sword of Damocles over their heads.

Point taken, though I will add that having a Commissar in the squad isn't mandatory. My own playtest group didn't. Which is actually a shame, now that I think about it, for a properly played Commissar could surely bring a lot to the table in terms of flair.

Anyways, Only War surely offers ample opportunity for games in the style of "The Dirty Dozen" or "Saving Private Ryan" or "Tour of Duty". It's definitively more restrictive, but depending on what you like, that might be just what you're looking for. Again, personal preferences. I have to admit, all of the 40k RPGs FFG has released so far offer something for me, enough so that it becomes a question of my mood to determine what I'd like to play more at any given time. Then again, I am somewhat fickle in general…

 

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Lynata said:

The Chapter Approved article would seem to suggest that Deathwatch members are ultimately recruited by the Inquisition. Also, nowhere in GW fluff does it say that the Deathwatch would have anything like a "Chapter Master". It operates on a completely different level in GW fluff, one where something like a "Chapter Master" is unnecessary because the Inquisition tells them what to do.

When I said "Chapter Master" I meant people like Marneus Calgar or Dante selecting a suitable candidate for service in the watch, not that the Deathwatch has it's own Chapter Master, which would be pointless since it's far too spread out over the galaxy to have either need or use for a centralized command.

 

Lynata said:

I don't think Terminator is necessarily the best thing for boarding actions. Sure it protects you, but it also saps your mobility. Note how the Codex Space Marines mentions Scout squads as often doing boarding actions, and those are even less protected than Tacticals (and still valuable, as they are a Chapter's future).

That said, I'm sure the Inquisition can provide a few suits of Terminator armour in the off chance that it would be deemed absolutely necessary.

An active space ship and a space hulk are two completely different things whatsoever. For one the space ship is designed to keep the people inside alive, while the space hulk is a shattered wreck full of radiation leaks, areas exposed to the vacuum of space, malfunctioning grav-plates, entire decks flooded with Emperor-knows-what, mutated survivors, alien stowaways and other such pleasantries. Terminator Armour saps mobility, but inside the tight and insanely hostile confines of a hulk mobility is not as important as survivability.

 

Lynata said:

"Vehicles make up an essential part of the Deathwatch armoury"
-- Rites of Battle Chapter IV introduction

"Originally a modification introduced by the Fire Lords Chapter of Space Marines, the Land Raider Redeemer's design has spread to many other Chapters, including the Deathwatch."
-- Rites of Battle p174

Point taken, though I still fail to see the deal with the Deathwatch having vehicles doing Vigil along their Space Marines masters. It is likely that the Deathwatch armoury is nowhere near as extensive or well supplied as a bona-fide Chapter, specially considering their de-centralized nature, but then again, the Inquisition prefers using their own resources rather than requisition someone else's, because using your own stuff is more expedient and you don't have to silence anyone afterwards, so it isn't unreasonable that the Deathwatch would have a at least a small vehicle depot.

 

Lynata said:

It was specified in the CA article that Deathwatch kill-teams consist of Tactical Marines, and that's it. Really, all the up-scaling of the Deathwatch into a full Chapter with their own vehicle park and fleets of planet-killing spaceships just made them (to me) actually less unique; now they're just a regular Chapter with members coming from all across the galaxy. They even deploy anti-air tanks and artillery. Honestly, this is the point where, in GW's world, the Inquisition would just send for normal Astartes.

No it wasn't. The entirety of the fluff in the CA article was a single paragraph at the top of the page. The rules don't allow you to field nothing more than Veterans in Power Armour, but nowhere in the fluff is specified that the Deathwatch has Power Armours, Bolters and nothing else.

In fact the Deathwatch is expected to be prepared to face any kind of Xenos foe at any time anywhere, from the lithe and nimble Eldar to the nigh-indestructible Necrons passing through the Green Tides to the Devouring Swarm. Their foes are infinitely varied so it makes no sense that the weapons, gear and tactics available to them weren't up to par.

And yes, you could say that only now are they a Chapter, but they're a Chapter in the same sense that the Grey Knights are a Chapter, or Storm Troopers are a single regiment. They're a single Chapter for the entire galaxy, so at the end of the day, the Kill-Teams are still alone before danger because the closest Battle-Brothers to them are likely entire sectors away and that Ork Warboss isn't gonna purge himself, so I don't find them any less unique. If the Imperial Guard is the Emperor's hammer and anvil and the Adeptus Astartes the Emperor's scalpel, the Deathwatch is the Emperor's surgical laser.

 

Lynata said:

Point taken, though I will add that having a Commissar in the squad isn't mandatory. My own playtest group didn't. Which is actually a shame, now that I think about it, for a properly played Commissar could surely bring a lot to the table in terms of flair.

Always remember that NPCs can be Comissars too if they study hard and eat their veggies.

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JuankiMan said:

It is likely that the Deathwatch armoury is nowhere near as extensive or well supplied as a bona-fide Chapter, specially considering their de-centralized nature, but then again, the Inquisition prefers using their own resources rather than requisition someone else's, because using your own stuff is more expedient and you don't have to silence anyone afterwards, so it isn't unreasonable that the Deathwatch would have a at least a small vehicle depot.

Well, since the Deathwatch is no longer even part of the Inquisition, that argument doesn't really fly. I think it's best to just acknowledge these differences and move on.

 

JuankiMan said:

No it wasn't. The entirety of the fluff in the CA article was a single paragraph at the top of the page. The rules don't allow you to field nothing more than Veterans in Power Armour, but nowhere in the fluff is specified that the Deathwatch has Power Armours, Bolters and nothing else.

I guess that is one way to interpret the available material, though I hope you realise that this opens a huge door ("Sisters in Terminator armour? well the rules don't allow you to field them, but nowhere in the fluff is specified that …) which I feel is better left closed. Let's just say I prefer the image that is conveyed by both the fluff as well as the miniature photos as well as the artworks from GW, and all of those were rather uniform in how the Deathwatch appears.

 

JuankiMan said:

In fact the Deathwatch is expected to be prepared to face any kind of Xenos foe at any time anywhere, from the lithe and nimble Eldar to the nigh-indestructible Necrons passing through the Green Tides to the Devouring Swarm. Their foes are infinitely varied so it makes no sense that the weapons, gear and tactics available to them weren't up to par.

Of course this goes for just about any Inquisitor - doesn't mean that all of them run around in the same stuff. I'd think that, given the value of Terminator armour, most Chapters would probably loathe to send off their volunteers with it to disappear in Inquisitorial service for, say, a decade or longer, perhaps never to return at all. And given that Terminator armour offers not just advantages but also disadvantages, Tactical power armour surely is the best all-round tool that allows adaption to just about any situation.

I know that if I'd fight Eldar, I would probably actually prefer normal power armour to Terminator suits, simply because the value of armour protection is lowered significantly when you find you cannot move fast enough to keep up with your opponents, and turn with them as they circle you.

On that note, I will admit that Terminator armour seems somewhat less obstructive in the rules than it maybe should (the Agility penalty does not carry over to BS; characters in TA can turn around and take aim as quick as anyone else) so from that perspective perhaps it is just not as big a deal here.

 

JuankiMan said:

And yes, you could say that only now are they a Chapter, but they're a Chapter in the same sense that the Grey Knights are a Chapter, or Storm Troopers are a single regiment. They're a single Chapter for the entire galaxy, so at the end of the day, the Kill-Teams are still alone before danger because the closest Battle-Brothers to them are likely entire sectors away and that Ork Warboss isn't gonna purge himself, so I don't find them any less unique.

I just feel the whole vehicle park and starfleet bits just pushed the Deathwatch away from being the cool "small strike teams" I grew up with, but rather a full army in their own right. Just look at how many of them are massing in the Jericho Reach. And if they deploy with stuff like artillery pieces and anti-air batteries, surely that doesn't count as a "kill-team" anymore?

 

JuankiMan said:

Always remember that NPCs can be Comissars too if they study hard and eat their veggies.

All true, but he won't necessarily accompany the players. In fact, the concept of finding excuses to explain certain "unorthodox" solutions when the unit gets back home could well form a sub-task for the group. It doesn't have to devolve into light-hearted comedy in the vein of Hogan's Heroes, but … well, perhaps best describe it as another challenge that has to be overcome not with combat but character interaction? ;)

It's certainly a Damocles Sword above the characters' heads, but not one that has to sap the fun out of the game. I'm sure most GMs won't aim to have the Commissar shoot their PCs just like that, unless they do something reeeally stupid.

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Lynata said:

Well, since the Deathwatch is no longer even part of the Inquisition, that argument doesn't really fly. I think it's best to just acknowledge these differences and move on.

They're not a part of the Inquisition, no… but they're affiliated with it, bound to it by ancient oaths of alliance and common purpose. It's a particular and enduring relationship beyond the conventional interactions between Astartes Chapters and Inquisitors.

Lynata said:

I guess that is one way to interpret the available material, though I hope you realise that this opens a huge door ("Sisters in Terminator armour? well the rules don't allow you to field them, but nowhere in the fluff is specified that …) which I feel is better left closed. Let's just say I prefer the image that is conveyed by both the fluff as well as the miniature photos as well as the artworks from GW, and all of those were rather uniform in how the Deathwatch appears.

It's an inevitable truth of the setting that the armylists cannot represent every conceivable permutation and incarnation of a given faction's armies - they represent common themes and organisations more than odd corner-cases and exceptions. Some of these odd cases can turn up in the background, in novels and so forth, but it's a fine line between "just enough variation to be interesting" and "wait, that doesn't seem right…"

Lynata said:

I know that if I'd fight Eldar, I would probably actually prefer normal power armour to Terminator suits, simply because the value of armour protection is lowered significantly when you find you cannot move fast enough to keep up with your opponents, and turn with them as they circle you.

On that note, I will admit that Terminator armour seems somewhat less obstructive in the rules than it maybe should (the Agility penalty does not carry over to BS; characters in TA can turn around and take aim as quick as anyone else) so from that perspective perhaps it is just not as big a deal here.

I take the opposite tack - if you're facing the Eldar, you ideally want to be an immovable object, the better to render their manoeuvrability moot and confront them with unassailable defence. Trying to match the swiftness of the Eldar with your own is unlikely to result in triumph, but by fighting in a way that denies the Eldar the advantage of their agility, you are far more likely to succeed. In this regard, the nigh-impenetrable bulwark of Terminator Armour is an invaluable asset - able to weather the Tempest of Blades and stand firm in spite of the ancient fury of the Children of Isha.

Lynata said:

I just feel the whole vehicle park and starfleet bits just pushed the Deathwatch away from being the cool "small strike teams" I grew up with, but rather a full army in their own right. Just look at how many of them are massing in the Jericho Reach. And if they deploy with stuff like artillery pieces and anti-air batteries, surely that doesn't count as a "kill-team" anymore?

I think you're confusing "access to vehicle assets" and "regular use of vehicle assets". Having access to vehicle assets, naval assets and all manner of other tools is only prudent - relying on requisitioning from other Imperial forces poses issues if you need to move beyond the normal confines of warzones and the borders of the Imperium, or perform acts which shouldn't become known to those outside the Deathwatch and/or Inquisition. Starships and aircraft in particular are extremely useful for moving around independently of the masses of the Imperium. In essence, it's there if it's needed, because having the tools to overcome any foe is a valuable thing.

The deployment of individual Kill-Teams is still described as the primary Modus Operandi of the Deathwatch.  Mass deployments are extremely rare, and demonstrate an extremely dire situation.

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Lynata said:

 

Well, since the Deathwatch is no longer even part of the Inquisition, that argument doesn't really fly. I think it's best to just acknowledge these differences and move on.

 

 

They may no longer be part of the Inquisition, but they do it's dirty work under its auspices, so better keep a healthy level of deniability for their operations.

 

Lynata said:

 

I just feel the whole vehicle park and starfleet bits just pushed the Deathwatch away from being the cool "small strike teams" I grew up with, but rather a full army in their own right. Just look at how many of them are massing in the Jericho Reach. And if they deploy with stuff like artillery pieces and anti-air batteries, surely that doesn't count as a "kill-team" anymore?

 

 

I don't see it that way. After all, how many are "massing" in the Jericho reach? I think numbers are not given, but perhaps a hundred? Two at best. The fluff mentions Watch Fortresses that are home to only a handful of Battle-Brothers and most Stations are only staging grounds. The Deathwatch is scattered and still operates as Kill Teams, though they now have more options, more tools in their shed. As N0-1 said, the only thing that could force them to gather in a single front as a unified army would be something absolutely calamitous, like the Tyranids threatening to eat Karlak or the Gate threatened to fall under enemy hands, and still that's only if they had had time to gather.

That's another reason why the Deathwatch was chosen for the Space Marine RPG. The heart of the Deathwatch is not large scale warfare, planetary invasions or colossal clashes of armies, it's all about small groups of absolute badasses that go down commando-style and teach those filthy Xenos why the Imperium rules the stars.

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N0-1_H3r3 said:

Some of these odd cases can turn up in the background, in novels and so forth, but it's a fine line between "just enough variation to be interesting" and "wait, that doesn't seem right…"
True. I suppose it's just that our interpretations of where this line line is drawn are too different. I still remember the discussion we had about whether there should be only one Storm Trooper regiment or several.

N0-1_H3r3 said:

I think you're confusing "access to vehicle assets" and "regular use of vehicle assets".
I don't think so, no. It's just that I believe it more likely (and definitively more closer to the original source material) when the Deathwatch, just like the vast majority of Inquisitors, requisition whatever special stuff they require on an as-needed basis. Just like the kill-teams themselves are assembled on an as-needed basis. Because I for one think it somewhat silly to assume that every single subsector has some huge fortress with scores of Land Raiders, Whirlwind artillery tanks and Terminator suits ready for whenever some 5-man team comes by every couple centuries to use that stuff. And it seems obvious that the Deathwatch does make regular use of at least their starships to move around, for it says so right in the book.

I will say that both versions of the Deathwatch make sense in their respective universes. I'm just pointing out that these two Deathwatches, and these two universes in general, are quite different from one another. Nothing to get upset about, just something to realise.

N0-1_H3r3 said:

Mass deployments are extremely rare, and demonstrate an extremely dire situation.
In my opinion, "mass deployments" are when you'd call in a regular Astartes Chapter or the Guard - but then again, my opinion is formed from GW fluff (with things like even the Third War of Armageddon only having two kill-teams on record), so I'm just going to assume that we are pursueing different and incompatible interpretations. This is not really something worth argueing about, too.

 

JuankiMan said:

I don't see it that way. After all, how many are "massing" in the Jericho reach? I think numbers are not given, but perhaps a hundred? Two at best.
Two hundred in that one major fortress alone, though that was a couple years back during some important incident. As you say, full numbers are not given anywhere (at least to my knowledge), but with all the talk about outposts and stations et cetera it does seem to be a lot. The Jericho Reach is supposedly "special", but it still goes a long way in establishing a rather peculiar appearance of these forces. For the love of the Emperor, the Deathwatch owns entire Battle Barges in this RPG. Battle Barges! ;)

JuankiMan said:

That's another reason why the Deathwatch was chosen for the Space Marine RPG. The heart of the Deathwatch is not large scale warfare, planetary invasions or colossal clashes of armies, it's all about small groups of absolute badasses that go down commando-style and teach those filthy Xenos why the Imperium rules the stars.
Certainly. I'm just saying that it's obvious that the vast array of available equipment was not chosen because somebody wanted to stay close to the original version of the Deathwatch, but simply to give the players more power and more cool toys to play with. Similar to what we talked about with female Vostroyans and the Storm Trooper class a few posts back, really. Somewhat similar to various novel authors being a bit liberal with the fluff in order to make a book more appealing to a particular group of fans.

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Lynata said:

Two hundred in that one major fortress alone, though that was a couple years back during some important incident. As you say, full numbers are not given anywhere (at least to my knowledge), but with all the talk about outposts and stations et cetera it does seem to be a lot. The Jericho Reach is supposedly "special", but it still goes a long way in establishing a rather peculiar appearance of these forces. For the love of the Emperor, the Deathwatch owns entire Battle Barges in this RPG. Battle Barges! ;)

The rulebook claims that no more than two hundred Battle-Brothers gathered within Watch Fortress Erioch during the "grim events of the Council of the Ascension", not that that number is the stationed garrison. That was probalby most of the forces of the Deathwatch in the sector, which makes me wonder what did they have to discuss that was so important.

However you are right. The Deathwatch using a Battle Barge seems downright excessive. They have light strike cruisers precisely because they are small, fast and stealthy when needed.

 

 

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Lynata said:

I don't think so, no. It's just that I believe it more likely (and definitively more closer to the original source material) when the Deathwatch, just like the vast majority of Inquisitors, requisition whatever special stuff they require on an as-needed basis. Just like the kill-teams themselves are assembled on an as-needed basis. Because I for one think it somewhat silly to assume that every single subsector has some huge fortress with scores of Land Raiders, Whirlwind artillery tanks and Terminator suits ready for whenever some 5-man team comes by every couple centuries to use that stuff. And it seems obvious that the Deathwatch does make regular use of at least their starships to move around, for it says so right in the book.

 

 

I will say that both versions of the Deathwatch make sense in their respective universes. I'm just pointing out that these two Deathwatches, and these two universes in general, are quite different from one another. Nothing to get upset about, just something to realise.

 

Not sure where the idea of "scores of Land Raiders, Whirlwinds… and Terminator suits" comes from. Access to those things does not indicate an abundance of those things.

The individual Watch Stations are not 'huge fortresses'. They're intensely variable, with each being an essentially unique construction that serves some particular purpose in addition to serving as a resupply point. Not every Watch Station is large enough to contain vehicles or has an extensive enough armoury to contain the rarer items available to the Astartes (I made a point of illustrating this in The Jericho Reach). Many serve as monitoring stations, or contain something that the Deathwatch wishes to contain or hide. Watch Station is a general-purpose term for "Deathwatch Outpost", and the specifics of that vary immensely.

Lynata said:

In my opinion, "mass deployments" are when you'd call in a regular Astartes Chapter or the Guard - but then again, my opinion is formed from GW fluff (with things like even the Third War of Armageddon only having two kill-teams on record), so I'm just going to assume that we are pursueing different and incompatible interpretations. This is not really something worth argueing about, too.

 

Knowledge is power, and it should be guarded with extreme prejudice - sometimes you can't or won't call for outside assistance. An Ork invasion is something that the massed armies of the Imperium are necessary to deal with… but the Deathwatch does not always face the commonly-known foes of the Imperium. That is, amongst other things, one of the ways that it differs from conventional Astartes forces.

Officially, first contact with the Necrons didn't occur until 897.M41, the Sanctuary 101 incident. Unofficially, countless encounters with unknown Xenos forces can be attributed to Necron attacks for decades or centuries before that. And the Necrons are not alone in this - countless unknown Xenos threats exist across the galaxy, many of which the wider forces of the Imperium are ill-equipped to deal with. The Deathwatch were established specifically to confront such threats, and while an individual Kill-Team or a lone Kill-Marine is sufficient most of the time… sometimes you need a show of force beyond that.

 

Lynata said:

but with all the talk about outposts and stations et cetera it does seem to be a lot. The Jericho Reach is supposedly "special", but it still goes a long way in establishing a rather peculiar appearance of these forces.

 

The overwhelming majority of Watch Stations are unmanned, or manned only by bonded servants of the Deathwatch and/or Inquisition. Some are manned only by a single Marine. There are not Kill-Teams stationed in every station and every fortress at all times… they're active and mobile and too few in number to spare any to garrison their outposts, preferring instead to protect them with the armour of secrecy.

 

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JuankiMan said:

The rulebook claims that no more than two hundred Battle-Brothers gathered within Watch Fortress Erioch during the "grim events of the Council of the Ascension", not that that number is the stationed garrison.

I've said that - or at least I tried to when I mentioned "during that one event some time back". Apologies if I've come across as a bit unclear there. Either way, that seems to be the minimum number of DW Marines with a vested interest in the Jericho Reach, and I'm just going to assume that they did not abandon every single other base or ship or mission for this meeting.

 

 

N0-1_H3r3 said:

Not sure where the idea of "scores of Land Raiders, Whirlwinds… and Terminator suits" comes from. Access to those things does not indicate an abundance of those things.

I believe I explained that with the need to have these items stored within reach. Else you may as well requisition them locally (as the GW fluff implies) if you first need to spend weeks in warp-transit just to gather equipment for a mission. Kind of defeats the point of a fast-response force.

 

N0-1_H3r3 said:

Knowledge is power, and it should be guarded with extreme prejudice - sometimes you can't or won't call for outside assistance.

Really, this is an issue that every single Inquisitor faces as well. The Ordo Xenos is not special in that. That doesn't mean that the Deathwatch absolutely needs to be able to deal with anything including full-scale invasions. Not even the Grey Knights have that kind of firepower, so I don't see why an organisation that operates in small teams should have ownership of even more wargear/vehicles. Scattered all over the Imperium waiting for some DW Marine to come by and pull the tarp from their chassis, no less.

Matter of interpretation, I guess. You like FFG's one more, that's absolutely fine by me.

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Lynata said:

That doesn't mean that the Deathwatch absolutely needs to be able to deal with anything including full-scale invasions. Not even the Grey Knights have that kind of firepower, so I don't see why an organisation that operates in small teams should have ownership of even more wargear/vehicles. Scattered all over the Imperium waiting for some DW Marine to come by and pull the tarp from their chassis, no less.

You mention the Grey Knights, yet they possess a full range of armour and starship assets as well. The Grey Knights operate in small groups, or even as individuals as the situation requires, yet possess the strength to deploy in serious force when absolutely necessary. The Modus Operandi is essentially the same.

What differs is that the Grey Knights have a central base of operations (their fortress on Titan), while the Deathwatch are dispersed across key locations across the Imperium.

As for requisition - even a frigate-sized starship contains ample room to transport  potentially a regiment of warriors - Astartes Rapid Strike Vessels, indeed all Astartes vessels in common service, carry far fewer soldiers than their size would dictate. Carrying a few bikes, tanks and/or shuttles in storage alongside a handful of warriors as required by the mission is well within the realms of possibility.

Yes, it's a matter of personal preference in interpretations… but I don't regard the two interpretations as being particularly different except in terms of the breadth of focus. The original depiction was a glimpse into the organisation… one that has been subsequently expanded upon and developed.

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N0-1_H3r3 said:

You mention the Grey Knights, yet they possess a full range of armour and starship assets as well.

Yet not as extensively. Where are their Whirlwinds, for example?

The Grey Knights have specialised anti-daemon infantry, but for ordinary engagements they are notably more ill equipped than a regular Space Marine Chapter. This version of the Deathwatch, on the other hand, truly owns the full range of armour and starship assets - and given their operational distribution of basically covering all Imperial space and beyond … wow, how many Deathwatch Strike Cruisers and Battle Barges must there be? How many Kill-Ships?

N0-1_H3r3 said:

As for requisition - even a frigate-sized starship contains ample room to transport  potentially a regiment of warriors - Astartes Rapid Strike Vessels, indeed all Astartes vessels in common service, carry far fewer soldiers than their size would dictate. Carrying a few bikes, tanks and/or shuttles in storage alongside a handful of warriors as required by the mission is well within the realms of possibility.

So you are basically saying that there is a fleet of starships out there transporting small 5-man squads through the galaxy, but each of these ships also contains a host of Landraiders, Whirlwind artillery tanks, Predators, Rhinos, etc just in case these teams need them.

Well, I suppose that is at least more feasible than assuming that they would be stored on every outpost.

N0-1_H3r3 said:

The original depiction was a glimpse into the organisation… one that has been subsequently expanded upon and developed.

I wouldn't call such a crass deviation an expansion. From what I can see, it is simply a very different take on the subject (and in this, it is just one of many examples of this RPG), for reasons mentioned in the previous posts: size, affiliation, rank structure, armoury … it's all quite unlike what we have seen before, so we may just as well acknowledge it for what it is. There's nothing wrong with liking/preferring it, I just cannot agree that it was merely "more developed".

That being said, I'm sure the number of Deathwatch players who are actually aware of the CA article or the Index Astartes or the Inquisitor RPG is very, very small. Just like with most other deviations, I do not think a whole lot of people will actually notice. As evidenced in this very thread.

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Lynata said:

Yet not as extensively. Where are their Whirlwinds, for example?

The Grey Knights have specialised anti-daemon infantry, but for ordinary engagements they are notably more ill equipped than a regular Space Marine Chapter. This version of the Deathwatch, on the other hand, truly owns the full range of armour and starship assets - and given their operational distribution of basically covering all Imperial space and beyond … wow, how many Deathwatch Strike Cruisers and Battle Barges must there be? How many Kill-Ships?

 

I do believe you're blowing this out of proportion. The book says that "vehicles make up an essential part of the Deathwatch armoury" but nowhere does it actually mention how many they have or which they actually own. You mention scores of Land Raiders but, for all we know, the Deathwatch may own a grand total of zero Land Raiders and must requisition them as needed from friendly Space Marine chapters. That falls entirely under GM jurisdiction because the matter is left wide open.

 

Lynata said:

So you are basically saying that there is a fleet of starships out there transporting small 5-man squads through the galaxy, but each of these ships also contains a host of Landraiders, Whirlwind artillery tanks, Predators, Rhinos, etc just in case these teams need them.

Well, I suppose that is at least more feasible than assuming that they would be stored on every outpost.

 

No, what is feasible and what is indeed mentioned is that all that stuff is stored inside Watch Fortresses, and since the Space Marines know no such thing as "peace", it is more or less under constant use. A Watch Station may have a small armoury (and sometimes not even that) or a very small vehicle depot at most in the case of the largest and most important ones.

And even if they have Battle Barges (not in my games they don't) and Strike Cruisers, Space Marines also make use of destroyer and frigate sized Rapid Strike Vessels, which are small (at least by Imperial standards, the smallest is around 1'5km long) and swift fast-respose vessels.

And the Deathwatch doesn't necessarily have to use their own ships all the time. In the adventure "The Price of Hubris" from the book The Emperor Protects, the kill-team is ferried to their destination aboard the ship of a Rogue Trader.

 

Lynata said:

I wouldn't call such a crass deviation an expansion. From what I can see, it is simply a very different take on the subject (and in this, it is just one of many examples of this RPG), for reasons mentioned in the previous posts: size, affiliation, rank structure, armoury … it's all quite unlike what we have seen before, so we may just as well acknowledge it for what it is. There's nothing wrong with liking/preferring it, I just cannot agree that it was merely "more developed".

That being said, I'm sure the number of Deathwatch players who are actually aware of the CA article or the Index Astartes or the Inquisitor RPG is very, very small. Just like with most other deviations, I do not think a whole lot of people will actually notice. As evidenced in this very thread.

 

I now fully admit that there is indeed a significant deviation, mostly in affiliation, but the fundamental difference is, I believe, scope. It is quite unlike what we had seen before because, quite frankly, we hadn't seen much to begin with. From what we had seen before stuff from the Horus Heresy started cropping up relatively recently, the Legio Custodes didn't have Terminator Armour or Dreadnoughts either, but everything we had seen from the Custodes until then was a few scattered drawings of guys in gilded armour with halberds and 75% more eagles than anyone else, and that's it. It's like seeing an iceberg and, after being shown what it looks like in its entirety, claiming that it cannot be the same floating ice because, from what was seen, it was nowhere near as big.

The differences are indeed there, but apart of the Deathwatch deciding to 'just be friends' with the Inquisition I don't think the other differences are so crass.

 

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Dammit, the forum completely messed up my reply. The last paragraph in each quote is actually the first paragraph of my responses.

I must have offended the forum's Machine Spirit sad.gif

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