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The Emperor's Chosen

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While this is true of Primaris Psykers (god they're OP), most Ascension classes are just as brittle as ever.  A Vindicare can dodge 14 times, but that just increases his chance of success.  He's going to fail eventually.  If you roll that many times, you ARE going to roll a one.  And then you're dead, because a Vindicare has about as much armour as a grapefruit.  If you're going to criticise Ascension, criticise it for the remarkable difference in power levels between almost every other Ascension class and the poor stormtrooper.  

It's easy to build a Vindicare that gets several degrees of success on a natural 100 on his Dodge roll. They also get Unnatural Toughness, which actually makes them much better able to take a hit than any other Ascension class, barring Magos (who also gets Unnatural Toughness, on top of a ton of armor). A lousy Hellgun (truly a mediocre weapon at Ascension level, as evidenced by people rightfully groaning about the Stormtrooper) makes any armor short of powered utterly insignificant. Only Magos can stack enough armor on himself to truly reduce most shots. Meanwhile, Unnatural Toughness means you're easily reducing 10 damage every attack - combined with how few attacks will hit you in the first place those twenty-something Wounds you most likely have at the moment will last you a long time.

 

 

Dok Martin said:

 

I always find it a bit curious how a 250-page book is reduced to 2 unbalanced career classes: "Ascension is broken."

 

 

I agree with this wholeheartedly Doc! Many of the things "Floated" in ascension went on to be very popular in later series. Skill combinations and the Influence system which is the precurser to all of the 40k rpg economic systems. I think FFG in that time was testing Ideas to see what would be more effective in later "core products". Just sayin' Some things worked better than others. Don't like it? Don't use it!

 

 

Profit Factor was there before Ascension, and it's rules were much better defined. Streamlining skills wasn't there until BC, but Ascension's take on it was pretty horrid.

 

There are many problems with Ascension beyond the Primaris and the Vindicare. Influence is a mess that completely obviates the usefulness of Fellowship, and there's absolutely no structure to how it affects gameplay.

Edited by Morangias

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Anyone have this yet? Thoughts?

 

Mine came today (in the UK) It wasnt what I was expecting TBH.  I've granted not read this yet (just scanned over my lunch break), but the second chapter (after an intro chapter) seems to detail several 'Heroes' of the deathwatch.  You get their backstories as well as details on any relics that are unique to that character.  By the time I'd gotten to the end of this chapter I seemed to be nearing the centre of the book (Its page count is around that of The Emperor protects probably)  Then there follows a section on the crafting of legacies and all I can say on this is that they group together with cool names like 'Deamon Hunter' etc.

 

*Spoiler Warning*

 

Theres an adventure in the back as well, and all I picked up on that was theres a Chaos Marine terminator in it with a lightning claw and a flamer :-P

 

So to summarise - Not a detailed review.  But it isn't remotely 'Ascencion for Space Marines'.

 

Plenty of nice art in it mind :)

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Yea this seems like a letdown. Which is a shame. The last good supplement was Outer Reach. Ark of Lost Souls was alright. This looks... kinda bad. I think it might be the first "bad" supplement of them so far. In that it doesn't live up to the others in terms of what it adds. It's so easy for me to make an NPC hero it isn't even funny. As a matter of fact I have several in my campaign. This item seems so niche.

 

Oh well I already had it on order. So it's too late to cancel now. Thanks for sharing. If you get the chance to go into more detail let me know.

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I've my eye out for a propper review, but so far what Giantcavecrab posted is the closest I've got. I'd be interested in any more insite anyone has after a propper reading.

 

Or if anyone has seen a full review of it anywhere

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I'm not seeing any reason to pick this up- why would I want details for what amounts to someone else's character?

 

The back-up adventure would have to be pretty spectacular for me to buy this- is it? Has anyone read it yet?

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Yes he seems to be right, I got it today. No chance to read, so far it seems like a gigantic let down. I'll let you know how that adventure is.

 

I thought this would allow the group to go to Watch Commander levels of play or something similar. It's nothing like that in the slightest. Incredibly disappointing.

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I spent 30 minutes reviewing the copy my FLGS had on hold for me. I told them to take my name off of the sticker and put it on the shelf. This book is a stinker.

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They're so cheap they don't even give you any stats for these mythical heroes. I know it's unlikely they would be around, but just in case. It would be nice.

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I was going to read / review this one.  But to be honest nothing about its making me want to pick it up and read it.

Edited by Giantcavecrab

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I was going to read / review this one.  But to be honest nothing about its making me want to pick it up and read it.

I know how you feel.

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I got a copy on monday. It isn't "Ascension Deathwatch" in the same way - no new careers, no new skills. At least not per se.

 

What you get:

 

Chapter 1: Much, much background goodness about what happens to marines after their deathwatch secondments, and how/why some are selected to come back - or not to leave at all. The criteria for picking Watch-captains, are pondered on.

 

Chapter 2: In the same way Jericho Reach and GM's guide named most of the current command hierarchy and the Chamber of the Vigil, this section lists off seven famous former kill-teams. More than just background - it tells you who the kill-team consisted of, describes each member, tells you what they were famous for, including several pages of their most famous mission (usually a Famous Last Stand [tm]) - and then gives for each one a set of adventure seeds relating to their legacy and (for all but one kill-team) some of their relics that are left in the deathwatch's possession, which your players are likely to give more of a **** about if they know the whole story rather than just 'it's a +2 relic blade'...

 

Chapter 3: The meat of the 'rules' section. There's no ascension as a marine. Rather you become awesome as a kill-team as a whole. You agree as a kill-team to buy a legacy for what we shall refer to as a "holy bejeezus metric shed-tonne" of XP each. You pick one of the several options. Each member is awarded by his peers in the kill-team a title from a list such as 'breaker of hordes', 'guardian from afar', 'preceptor of shadows', and so on. Each legacy includes five such titles in various combinations, though you can expand them to add more (at a cost). Each title has a benefit to the bearer befitting the name.

 

In addition, each legacy gives the team leader three manouvres to call upon - one offensive, one defensive and one tactical, which can again be added to for XP to up to two of each. These are broadly akin to squad actions, except for three differences:

 

1) They don't cost cohesion to use, instead requiring a check by the team leader (usually command but often tactics)

2) They require a very high squad cohesion score to allow the attempt - as in I think about the lowest needs cohesion 10.

3) The results are very slightly awesome. An out-of-turn suppressive fire from everyone in the kill-team at a defined area plus a 'free reaction' overwatch attack from everyone in the kill-team at anyone moving in the same area, for example.

 

There are also some unique relics for one of the legacies. Including a custom-made stalker-pattern which is essentially a marine-calibre barratt.

 

Chapter 4: A (quite sizeable) adventure picking up from the last stand of a famous former kill-team (one of the ones from Chapter 2)

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Awesome. Looks like I'd be better leaving picking it up until I get into a game that gets to ascension level.

 

When you say the adventure is "quite sizable", how long would you estimate it would take to play through in hours.

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Chapter 2: In the same way Jericho Reach and GM's guide named most of the current command hierarchy and the Chamber of the Vigil, this section lists off seven famous former kill-teams. More than just background - it tells you who the kill-team consisted of, describes each member, tells you what they were famous for, including several pages of their most famous mission (usually a Famous Last Stand [tm]) - and then gives for each one a set of adventure seeds relating to their legacy and (for all but one kill-team) some of their relics that are left in the deathwatch's possession, which your players are likely to give more of a **** about if they know the whole story rather than just 'it's a +2 relic blade'...

 

Sounds like 'fan-fiction' from the Playtest groups...

 

Could you give us more info on the Adventure? No 'spoilers', of course, but general info (adversaries, setting, objectives) to get a sense of how it would play...?

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I've only skimmed through the book at the moment but I was a tad disappointed. I was expecting something that lets you take top rank marines a bit further, kind of an epic level handbook. Sadly it isn't anything like that. About the only thing that will be useful to me in this is probably the scenario.

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I'm probably the only one who is intrigued by the mini-review here (and I am not the usual FFG cheer crowd). Of course it depends A LOT on execution but it sounds so much better than Ascension for Deathwatch. Let me quickly run through why:

 

 

Chapter 1: Much, much background goodness about what happens to marines after their deathwatch secondments, and how/why some are selected to come back - or not to leave at all. The criteria for picking Watch-captains, are pondered on.

 

Why isn't this awesome? This sounds like: finally role-playing material, role-playing as in role-playing. Yeah, no crunchy I-can-kill-you-now-even-better which the game doesn't need at all. If any game doesn't need it, then this one. The sociology of the Deathwatch, its rituals and traditions, its mindset, its outlooks... this is interesting material for study and for setting a realistic and rich stage. I have a player who lost all his Fate Points and who is set to retire his PC. This sounds brilliant.

 

 

Chapter 2: In the same way Jericho Reach and GM's guide named most of the current command hierarchy and the Chamber of the Vigil, this section lists off seven famous former kill-teams. More than just background - it tells you who the kill-team consisted of, describes each member, tells you what they were famous for, including several pages of their most famous mission (usually a Famous Last Stand [tm]) - and then gives for each one a set of adventure seeds relating to their legacy and (for all but one kill-team) some of their relics that are left in the deathwatch's possession, which your players are likely to give more of a **** about if they know the whole story rather than just 'it's a +2 relic blade'...

 

Again, I see this as role-playing material. To evoke a sense of history and lineage. As a GM I can weave that into a mission... just when the players are faced with over-whelming odds, the team leader remembers the legend of X, then I can entertain the players with some brief story-telling, give them all a bonus if the leader passes his command test as he invokes the saints name and it makes everything more epic.

 

 

 

Chapter 3: The meat of the 'rules' section. There's no ascension as a marine. Rather you become awesome as a kill-team as a whole. You agree as a kill-team to buy a legacy for what we shall refer to as a "holy bejeezus metric shed-tonne" of XP each. You pick one of the several options. Each member is awarded by his peers in the kill-team a title from a list such as 'breaker of hordes', 'guardian from afar', 'preceptor of shadows', and so on. Each legacy includes five such titles in various combinations, though you can expand them to add more (at a cost). Each title has a benefit to the bearer befitting the name.

 

In addition, each legacy gives the team leader three manouvres to call upon - one offensive, one defensive and one tactical, which can again be added to for XP to up to two of each. These are broadly akin to squad actions, except for three differences:

 

1) They don't cost cohesion to use, instead requiring a check by the team leader (usually command but often tactics)

2) They require a very high squad cohesion score to allow the attempt - as in I think about the lowest needs cohesion 10.

3) The results are very slightly awesome. An out-of-turn suppressive fire from everyone in the kill-team at a defined area plus a 'free reaction' overwatch attack from everyone in the kill-team at anyone moving in the same area, for example.

 

There are also some unique relics for one of the legacies. Including a custom-made stalker-pattern which is essentially a marine-calibre barratt.

 

This follows a theme I originally came up with on the forums here when Rites of Battle came out: the main theme of Deathwatch being about growing together as a team of marines originating from different backgrounds. In theory this is brilliant but, again, I don't know the execution.

 

 

Chapter 4: A (quite sizeable) adventure picking up from the last stand of a famous former kill-team (one of the ones from Chapter 2)

 

Can't comment on that, of course.

 

Alex

 

tl;dr = if you expect Ascension:Deathwatch, it sounds like you will be disappointed. But from a role-playing perspective it sounds like it could be fun.

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I'm probably the only one who is intrigued by the mini-review here (and I am not the usual FFG cheer crowd). 

Not the only one, though I'm not much sold on the idea behind the second chapter - so much space devoted to NPCs that aren't even around anymore doesn't strike me as the best use of space, regardless of the quality of the writing. All the rest sounds pretty good.

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"Not the only one, though I'm not much sold on the idea behind the second chapter - so much space devoted to NPCs that aren't even around anymore doesn't strike me as the best use of space, regardless of the quality of the writing. All the rest sounds pretty good."

 

If you just see it as a massively-fleshed out armoury, it's still not too bad. In addition to the history of the kill-team, there's about three-to-four relics for each team. Twenty-odd new relics is pretty good.

 

 

"Could you give us more info on the Adventure? No 'spoilers', of course, but general info (adversaries, setting, objectives) to get a sense of how it would play...?"

 

 

 

 

 

 

NOT EXACTLY SPOILER BUT DON'T READ IF YOU DON'T WANT TO KNOW

Essentially, one of the kill-teams listed in Ch.2 are famous for holding the line against a tyranid invasion whilst the inquisition did something nefarious involving a xenotech relic. The Inquisitor, deciding he'd far rather have the relic for himself, then stabbed them in the back, sealing them outside the secure vault and leaving them and the rest of the Inquisitorial contingent to die a horrible, gribbly death (and half-inching said relic). Said kill-team did, ultimately, die, but somehow, despite being the focus of a massive tyranid assault, died hard enough and slowly enough that they bought enough time for rest of the survivors to escape and tell the Watch-Fortress what happened.

 

After years of searching, Erioch finally has evidence of where he went. Please go and explain to him that it was a very naughty thing to do.

 

OKAY, YOU CAN START READING AGAIN

 

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by Magnus Grendel

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  • Okay, own this book myself (picked it up at Gencon), and for my gaming group we have mixed reviews. The bad news is this book was horribly mis-marketed. Everyone here expected "Ascension" for Space Marines, and its not that. Nothing past rank 8, nothing to make your character uber-badass (isn't that why we play Deathwatch?) beyond a few relics.

The good news is, that it is chock full of awesome fluff! I really enjoyed the stories about the legendary kill teams in the Jericho Reach, and their associated relics, which you can pick up

Also, you have heard about the "legacy" squad mode and oath. Basically, once you have a group that hits 10-13 cohesion (which my group..of which I am the squad leader is about to hit) you get a totally new mechanic for how to use squad modes. You call out roles, which give the players an option of added bennies, and you can use maneuvers to move your kill team in various ways. Basically, the regular squad mode is what is taught to space marines to fight, but that is as a Tactical squad or part of a company. Your Deathwatch, its you and three or four other marines, and after a while you learn to fight that way. This is the squad mode that kill teams develop. Myself, I like it, but the appeal may not be out there for everyone

Is this a book for everyone? No, but I recommend it if you have a played a group for over a year, about rank 5 or above and ready to act like a fluid fighting team that has defeated countless horrors together.

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NOT EXACTLY SPOILER BUT DON'T READ IF YOU DON'T WANT TO KNOW

....

...

 

OKAY, YOU CAN START READING AGAIN

 

So... a cool tale, detailing some of the history of the Deathwatch. A Story hook for a new adventure. And statlines for relics.

 

So just why the hell are people bitching and moaning again?

 

Oh yeah, cause it's the FFG forums, and no one can ever be satisfied.

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I just downloaded my copy yesterday and I like it.  I was a bit dismayed by the negative reviews but was pleasantly surprised.  I will admit, it is different, but I enjoyed my initial skim last night.  It does not have "Kewl Powerz" to make your Space Marines have stats off the charts, but I enjoy the "big picture" approach to the Deathwatch and give some insights on how even small groups of Deathwatch marines are able to turn the tide against the Xenos hordes.   I enjoyed it and you can bet my credit card I would be buying similar products in the future. 

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Just downloaded my copy.

What is good: interesting fluff.

What is bad: the heroic legacy rules are totally useless and bad written.

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I was disappointed in this book.  No new specialties, no new Talents or Skills, it's like one of the "story books" but with a new system and 4 pages of Antagonists.  

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