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Covered in Weasels

Chaos Marines as antagonists

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Chaos Space Marines are some of the most iconic and dangerous enemies in the 40k universe, but their power level makes them difficult to include in Dark Heresy games. However, I think it can be done. I hope to use an Alpha Legion marine as the leader of a powerful, well-armed cult. I'd be using Black Crusade to make an appropriate character, possibly granting him some Gifts of the Gods.

Have any of you ever used Chaos Marines as villains in your DH games? If so, how did the players eventually defeat them? Since he's intended to be a major villain, I want the encounter to be memorable. I can think of a couple possible ways to build a CSM-centric encounter that doesn't involve the PCs getting slaughtered:

-- Give them significant NPC backup in the final confrontation. IMO this is the least satisfying option, since the players may feel cheated of their victory if they needed help from a Storm Trooper squad to take down the CSM.

-- Set the encounter in a manufactorum, reactor room or some other area with lots of potential hiding spots and booby traps. This lets the players outsmart the CSM rather than outfight him, wearing him down with jets of superheated coolant fluid and falling pipes before knocking him into a vat of molten metal.

-- Have a fairly straightforward encounter with the CSM and his minions, except the CSM instructs his allies to take the PCs alive. If done right this might actually be scarier than a lethal firefight; no PC wants to be knocked out and interrogated by a Chaos Marine :D

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I once used a group of 5 CSM as enemy Leaders of an uprising.

I used the profile of Brother-Sergeant Agamorr from Purge the Unclean.

It was sadly and unsatisfyingly fast when even the CSM went down after only a couple of hits. My players had 2 Rightous Fury rolls each nearly 30 points of damage with their plasma weaponry.

Their toughness and armour makes them very hard to crack, but they are far from invulnerable.

And careful with the hiding idea: CSM have heightened senses.

 

A possible set-up:

The CSM is in charge of a construction site/refinery, the Acolyte's job is it to blow i up by setting charges at certain points. Talk your way past his suspicions, shift the blame on someone else to get some maneuvering room.

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Heya CiW, 

 

I agree with you. Using a Chaos Space Marine can make a great, iconic villain for your campaign. I'd suggest making sure they run into this Alpha Legion Marine for the first time mid-way through the campaign, and again near the end. Some ideas I can throw out your way

 

First Meeting: 

 - The Marine at this point, upon discovery of the Acolytes, instructs his cultists and allies to take the Acolytes in alive. At this point, they are beneath his notice (not really), and will allow the minions under his command a chance to prove themselves to him. During this meeting, the Marine is a scary background piece - he's scary, quite stronger than the goons, and he's just watching without fear of reprisal!

 

Last Meeting: 

- After the main heresy is discovered, the Marine and his cult tracked down, it's time to strike. The Acolytes should at this time have had enough time to procure appropriate weapons and make a battle plan. Of course, their pleas for assistance should be denied (Alpha Legionnaires are experts at the subterfuge game, afterall. Whose to say they were really sending a request aid to Imperial Command?). They track down the cult to their true lair.

 

- The Setting can be situational: A manufactora, a derelict shrine, etc. What should be available is a daemon weapon or some other blasphemous means of damage. This should be the Acolytes 'Easy Win' option, and also presenting a 40k moral dilema: Do they take up the accursed sword of the Nephilius Arc to combat the Emperor's Fallen Angel? Or do they remain pure and use their tried and tested skills to overcome the day? At this point, the setting should be used as a key to their strategem: A manufactora could be set to explode, or they could collapse the roof of a shrine. Perhaps, even, one of the Acolytes must sacrifice himself to lodge a melta bomb between him and the Marine.

 

- By all accounts, the Marine should probably survive unless they use the daemon weapon. He transfers from scary villain to god awful scary Nemesis when the post-investigation reveals only shattered armor, a single limb perhaps, and no BODY to verify the kill.

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In the final session of my last campaign, Tsyiak the Crowfather had tricked our Inquisitor into fighting his mentor during a ritual instigated by the Thousand Sons.  The Chaos Marines hung back to keep the other Throne Agents from interfering (two Rubric Marines and a Sorcerer seemed to be enough.)

Only at the end did our Inquisitor realize that if either he or his mentor died by the other's hand, Tsyiak would be released.  He ended up killing himself to confound the ritual. 

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I do remember one encounter with a Chaos Marine from one of my DH games. I kind of have mixed feelings in that regard, though.

 

On one hand, it was an epic encounter that I still have vivid memories of, and it had both some funny and some gritty scenes thanks to some hilarious rolling.

 

On the other hand, I feel the players were horrendously outclassed by this enemy, and we survived only because (a) the CSM suffered a critical failure during one of his first attacks and got his primary weapon, a power axe, stuck in the roof, and (b) one of the players managed to roll Righteous Fury not only once but twice in a single attack ... though even this did not suffice to put him down quick enough to prevent the CSM from basically one-shotting our Psyker, sending him from "fully healed" into "unconscious" and leaving him a bloody mess in a single round.

I also have a feeling our GM "cheated" to actually have us win this fight, as the whole bit about stuffing a grenade into the CSM's arm stump felt rather railroaded/forced, if only because this idea was suggested by the GM to one of the players, and then (of course) allowed to be rolled.

 

My final concern is also a personal pet-peeve of mine: From Games Workshop's own material (both fluff and rules), I am still used to a much more "vulnerable" version of Space Marines, so it felt rather weird to have a single CSM with no backup whatsoever pose that much of a challenge to a group of comparatively seasoned Acolytes, especially considering that one of the characters was a power-armoured and bolter-equipped Adepta Sororitas Battle Sister, who in GW's books hunt down CSMs as part of their job description.

 

This may be somewhat circumvented if you'd at least make the CSM an important leader rather than a random grunt, for the latter may leave a taste of "there are many thousands like him out there, and they'd all wipe the floor with your characters", whereas a CSM Officer may feel like a true boss encounter that is valid to be hard even for experienced and well-equipped characters. Unless your group has embraced the "scrub" theme that some people champion for DH, that is.

Besides, Cogniczar had a rather great suggestion for what could happen to the "corpse" of the CSM after your players bested him, which would tie in nicely with the "important leader" bit, creating a true nemesis for your group (which you could then have reappear at a later date for some recognition value and possibly roleplaying between both the characters, as well as the PCs and this CSM NPC).

 

I suppose my own recommendation would be for the GM to come up with their own profile for this enemy depending on what "feels right" for their game of Dark Heresy, rather than slavishly adhering to the rules of a different game, when all of FFG's 40k RPGs have individual rulesets and even differ in weapon and NPC stats (for example, one could argue that Black Crusade CSM enemies are meant to be tackled by Black Crusade parties that contain CSM player characters or Minions).

 

What "feels right" could be summed up by the following two concerns:

- Given the CSM's AP+TB and the difference in gear, does the group stand a good chance of actually surviving this encounter?

- Given the many different interpretations, how powerful do the players in your group actually think Space Marines are?

 

Also, do not forget that the CSM is not everything the group seems to be facing here - his cultists would surely attempt to interfere with the Acolytes' plans as well, and under ordinary circumstances the cultists alone could already pose a threat!

Edited by Lynata

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Maybe stage the encounter as a 2-parter: the Acolytes 'storm the HQ' expecting to find a common cult magus, and instead get their pants-wetting first look at the CSM; realizing that they are outclassed, they are forced to flee. They re-equip specifically for this adversary (i.e. lots of AP) and track down his secondary hide-out for an epic confrontation.

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My CSM were Alpha Legion, they had snuck into the Hive and planted their seeds for rebellion. They like to do that, or at least did in 3rd Edition.

So my Acolytes went to see what was behind this culd and saw several huge robed figures holding a meeting in one of the under-hive factories were the cultists made their own guns. They tried to find out more after the meeting was finished (had no way to listen into that one) and got somewhat suprised when the robed figure was about 8 feet tall and in a spiky PA. How the intended chase through the factory went was listed above ...

 

If you want to freak your players out throw them onto a planet where the night lasts about 20 hours followed by 20 hours of dim daylight. And add a Night Lord.

"We are coming for you!"

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I used an Alpha Legion CSM in one of my DH games. He was a sort of bodyguard or partner of a mighty psyker - the leader of a powerful cult. I took him from a Black Crusade adventure. He had usual CSM stats, but didn't wear power armour. Instead of this he wore leather armor and was armed with two-handed chainsword. So he was very dangerous in melee, but fortunately my players quickly understood this and kept him off. The final encounter was on a bridge. At the end the players blew it up, and CSM fell down from 0,5 km height. Of course, he survived, but his and players' roads haven't crossed anymore.

Edited by Teyacapan

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Maybe stage the encounter as a 2-parter: the Acolytes 'storm the HQ' expecting to find a common cult magus, and instead get their pants-wetting first look at the CSM; realizing that they are outclassed, they are forced to flee. They re-equip specifically for this adversary (i.e. lots of AP) and track down his secondary hide-out for an epic confrontation.

 

Using an idea from one of Dan Abnett's books, Pariah:

 

The acolytes raided a building, looking for the hierarchy leaders of a slaaneshi cult, "The Children". It's their own **** fault they never considered that they might be missing the word "Emperor's". Sonic Blasters hurt at point blank range.

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@ Lynata; Except on the tabletop game, Space Marines are supposed to be as tough as they are in the RPG; they are supposed to be able to suffer a lot of bullets without armour and we don't speak about them wearing it. A Space Marine is supposed to be a real challeng to player.

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In the tabletop game, lasguns have a ~12% chance to drop a Space Marine.

In GW's own RPG, they have a ~16% chance to cause injuries or death.

In GW's fluff, this chance is given as 15% (assuming lasguns qualify as the lower end of the small arms spectrum in the Codex: Angels of Death's fluff on Marine PA)

 

What's the chance for a lasgun to kill, nay, even just wound a Space Marine in Dark Heresy? A big, fat zero, unless you use gimmicks such as Horde rules or Righteous Fury that magically expand an attack's damage beyond what the respective weapon is normally capable of.

 

I'm sorry, but the unique way Toughness works around here - in the case of the Marines making them more resilient than the armour they wear - may fit to various video game or novel interpretations of the Astartes, but not so much the actual source material. Why do you think FFG buffed Astartes bolters, compared to the Black Industries version? Because someone figured out that TB8 Space Marines fighting each other would have a rather hard time actually killing something before they run dry on ammo.

 

I still remember fondly the thread about the very first adventure book, "Purge the Unclean", where you had a Space Marine NPC help the players in a fight against Dark Eldar.

Someone pointed out that the Marine, for all intents and purposes, is invincible. The DE were incapable of harming him.

 

I like challenges, but there is a difference between a challenge and a potentially annoying promulgation of a trend that, both in outsourced material as well as the very fandom, has been driving a wedge between Space Marines and all the other interesting aspects of an entire setting for years now, not to mention the game-mechanical concerns that this one Chaos Space Marine could just wipe an entire party of players due to the inflated power gap, as it almost happened to my own group.

 

We can gladly discuss this further, but I'd recommend doing so via PM or a new thread, as this is somewhat off-topic. :)

 

[edit] Also, the way Toughness negates damage is an issue that expands beyond just Space Marines. We've had several players voicing their concern on this mechanic by now (both in the form of "what can I do, my players are too tough"-style of calls for aid, as well as general criticism on the very principles), and many people suggesting houserules for a somewhat grittier, but also more realistic approach.

Edited by Lynata
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In TT, a single tactical space marine can be mathematically relied upon to kill a full squad of trained soldiers (= Guardsmen) in melee combat over half the time, or just about. I'm just sayin'.

Edited by bogi_khaosa

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Without even bothering to check those odds, I don't see what should be wrong with that. Marines ought to be brutal in CC - this is somewhat "balanced" by them still getting shot to pieces by ranged weaponry. For example via Overwatch, which said squad of Guardsmen may avail of.

 

As I'm saying from time to time, the guns of 40k make an important "equaliser". It's like giving crossbows to peasants who are scared of the big knight.

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There's nothing  wrong with that at all. They're supposed to be brutal.

 

A Guard with a lasgun has a 1/2 x 1/3 x 1/3 = 1 in 18 chance of killing* a Marine, x2 if rapid fire = 1 in 9. To reliably kill* a tactical marine you need 9 guys shooting at him, If on Overwatch this will be 1/6 x 1/3 x 1/3 = 1/54 x 2 for rapid fire = 2 in 27 = about 7% = about 14 guys.

 

A Marine with a bolter has a 2/3 x 2/3 = 4/9 = 4 in 9 x 2 for rapid fire = 8 in 9 chance of killing a Guardsman.

 

(This difference is magnified further because of falling back mechanics.)

 

They are killing machines, the most effective troops in the game after Necron Immortals and (maybe) Tyranid Warriors.

 

The only way to reliably kill* them (assuming standard small arms and not plasma, say) is with massed firepower. Which is not something that Acolytes are capable of.

 

I don't think marines belong in DH as adversaries, at least below Ascension level, as it is a lowish-power game. If I were going to use a chaos marine as an adversary, it would be as an Unstoppable Death Machine and the game would be run a la Friday the 13th in Space with a better script, with the foe needing to be defeated via guile rather than gunfire. (The same goes for, say, Necrons -- OMG).

 

I think that there is a tendency to treat things that are iconic for us outside the universe as if they were iconic inside the universe and so try to import them into the game. We all know about CSMs and Tau and Dark Eldar, because we know the game. Such things are actually incredibly rare in-universe, except in particular small regions.

 

* = "removing as a casualty," not necessarily literally killing.

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You are conflating the tabletop and the RPG without taking into account that the player characters may be somewhat more dangerous than an average Guardsman with a lasgun and flak armour. Starting with the understanding that player characters tend to be "special" - which, in the case of Dark Heresy, is probably what got them recruited in the first place.

 

I've never said it might not be a mistake to send a CSM against a bunch of Rank 1 characters with default starting equipment, though. That being said, eventually the PCs will start to get better, and they will acquire better weapons. And I was assuming we are debating the use of CSM as adversaries for Dark Heresy in general.

 

I agree with your assessment regarding the use of iconic assets from the game, though I also believe that this is an understandable desire, given that it is these things that got the majority of players to give Dark Heresy a try in the first place. And for what it's worth, Dark Heresy is probably ideally suited to showcase just about everything the setting has to offer, including Chaos Marines - as the players are becoming agents of the Inquisition; a super-secret "organisation" that meddles with just about every aspect of the fluff. The question, thus, is not whether or not the iconic bits should be left out entirely, but perhaps more how and when to insert them, to both present an interesting encounter as well as preserving the style and dignity of everything that makes up this universe.

 

Which leads me to another tendency I've noticed in both the fandom as well as licensed material - that of this most iconic factor of 40k, the Space Marines, getting inflated in several facets, ranging from their survivability to their damage potential to even simple visual factors such as their body height (because, obviously, bigger = better). And this happens to the detriment of the style and dignity of all the other puzzle pieces that make up the overall setting.

I suppose it is excusable in a Marine-centric title such as the video game (which I've enjoyed) or the Deathwatch RPG. But Dark Heresy? Why?

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Guardsman are trained soldiers. They are not conscripts or probably Rank 1-4 Acolytes for that matter. Indeed, they have the exact same statline as a ... dum-dum-dum... Warrior Acolyte in an Inquisitorial Retinue. :)

 

The point is that marines, in TT and in fluff, are very very dangerous. They are as durable as a killer death robot and an alien killing machine (Necron Warriors and Tyranid Warriors each being approximately as tough as a tactical marine once Reanimation Protocols and lower armour saves/additional wounds are factored in). It is simply not true that TT or fluff portray marines as anywhere near the same level as a "normal" human being, unless we are talking some Independent Characters in TT such as Yarrick. I shall repeat -- they have the same exact statline as a death robot made of living metal except for a better armour save that is compensated for almost exactly by reanimation prots, and a higher Initiative (which means BTW that teh marine will probably beat the death robot in melee combat). In TT, people do not just go blam-blam with their lasguns, or heavy bolters or autocannons for that matter, and make them fall down. Barring plasma or melta weaponry or lascannons or krak missiles or battle cannons or something of that nature, marines in TT are hard to kill.

 

I am the opposite of Marine-centric. I actually do not particularly like them (if I played TT actively, that would definitely not be my army, which would be Tau or Necrons BTW) and do not think they belong in Dark Heresy at all. Dark Heresy is a low-power-ish investigative/horror/film noir game built around flushing out cults in Imperial society and creeping around haunted houses, not about epic battles. The TT and fluff are, however, based around epic battles and are marine-centric, and the universe is based on them.

 

Let's be "realistic" here. A Marine is not only biologically enhanced and normally equipped with the best equipment available, he has _at a minimum_ decades of experience in combat. No matter how seasoned your Acolytes are, the marine is going to out-season them by 50 years or so, as a bare minimum. An intelligently, "realistically" built marine will have incredibly high levels of XP going into him (much more than Deathwatch ones do) and if intelligently, "realistically" played will be a brilliant strategist and tactician, as well as outclassing everywhere else in terms of raw stats and skills. He will not be running at the opponents' guns yelling "aargh! for the Dark Gods!" (even if he is presented in such a way by bad Black Library writers. :) ) He will be efficiently, methodically wiping them out in the most effective way possible, minimizing threats to himself, as he has done hundreds of times before in such circumstances.

Edited by bogi_khaosa
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Non elite marines in the TT aren't that hard to kill routinely. Weight of fire or attacks in melee are usually sufficient enough to wipe a squad (I play Orks, Imperial Guard, and Eldar predominantly). Although i'm completely undermining the rest of my post since I dismiss the TT as an equitable source of lore knowledge from the game mechanics.

 

The Adeptus Astartes marines are truly death dealing entities. They are encased in power ceramite armor, often have decades or centuries of service and experience. They are given provisions above the rest of the Imperium's fighting forces. They are the Angels of Death.

 

However said, this translates roughly as "able to take slightly more bullets to the head to kill" in the grand scheme of things. Their true strength comes from both their indomitable teamwork and the shock tactics employed by their chapter.

 

A single Marine, be it loyalist or chaos, will not be so above the grain to be impossible to defeat. Nay, If they were you'd have to discount ever using Daemons from your campaigns - as we all know that it took the Imperium developing an entire chapter of specialized hunters just to deal with that threat, and then you'd be left with very weak xenos and heretics for Dark Heresy. 

 

Daemons > Space Marine

 

So, since we have Daemons routinely in Dark Heresy, there is absolutely no good reason not to throw in a Chaos Space Marine as a prime antagonist into a campaign. The key to it to maintain true to the canon and background source is in the execution. A demented and plotting Chaos Space Marine, perhaps bereft of his warband due to his own personal ambitions, would mastermind his plots behind the veil of a cult that venerates him. Very fitting for a Sorcerer in particular. Even more so with a Thousand Sons Sorcerer. This space marine would be hard as rocks to defeat in game, relying on great team work and quick thinking by the Acolytes. He is, after all, alone. 

 

Well, assuming you've dealt with his cult of sycophantic worshippers and servants. 

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I liked the change in Righteous Fury that came with BC.

 

A 10 = min 1 damage, no matter the TB/Armor and if you dealt damage normally, a crit effect 1-5 based on weapon type and location hit (not stacking, but to show that hit had a good effect).

 

The other big change was that NPCs got it, whether or not you like that is up to you, but I do like PCs having it exclusively.

 

Used as is, it allows steady fire to take down anything eventually, because that does happen in fluff AND in the TT

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I do remember one encounter with a Chaos Marine from one of my DH games. I kind of have mixed feelings in that regard, though.
 
On one hand, it was an epic encounter that I still have vivid memories of, and it had both some funny and some gritty scenes thanks to some hilarious rolling.
 
On the other hand, I feel the players were horrendously outclassed by this enemy, and we survived only because (a) the CSM suffered a critical failure during one of his first attacks and got his primary weapon, a power axe, stuck in the roof, and (b) one of the players managed to roll Righteous Fury not only once but twice in a single attack ... though even this did not suffice to put him down quick enough to prevent the CSM from basically one-shotting our Psyker, sending him from "fully healed" into "unconscious" and leaving him a bloody mess in a single round.
I also have a feeling our GM "cheated" to actually have us win this fight, as the whole bit about stuffing a grenade into the CSM's arm stump felt rather railroaded/forced, if only because this idea was suggested by the GM to one of the players, and then (of course) allowed to be rolled.

 

Ah yes, the infamous in-warp boarding action by some renegade forces to spice up the warp travel..to my defense, I was not expecting half of the party to be either missing that long from being absent that night or shitting their mechanicus robes in the mop-servitor closet for the whole duration of the combat....but the grenade bit was there because #1 combat was taking forever, thanks to getting low damage from you, and him having such..horrible rolls.. (how can he fail when he had over 75% on the **** roll...) #2 'Logistics' wise I did not want the combat last more than a session, as it was not part of the main mission, and only added to add flavour and a little something ab it more big than just fighting random heretics.

 

Also, re-reading that bit, that was actually an idea from the Psyker, not I; not to mention that hole was made by constant attacks on the same spot that ruined his armour and his arm....and it seems you were ALL attacking that single spot as well, as to by-pass his armour that really sucked all the damage you did.

 

 

But back on the subject...

 

CSM makes for good boss types, Cogniczar gave a nice little breakdown on how a meet can go.  The trick is win or loose, he is not down for the count;  the body maybe gone, but chaos is a strange thing, and what's to say that he had a few favours stockpiled somewhere for a rainy day, and while your players are doing some thing or another, hey look at that CSM guy is back and he's got a grudge against the cell in particular.

 

I do recall an old post similar to that, where the low level acolytes were in a mining location and were facing a CSM, aching to use the environment to defeat/slow him (dropping rocks on him, using some power conduit to electrify the pool of water he's is, ramming him with a mine cart, using heavy machinery to knock him left and right. etc etc)  Granted the CSM was not running like a crazy monster, more doing the scary slow walk toward them, savouring in their fear they emanated; of course after doing a trick a few times, the ol' boltgun came out and boom when the heavy machinery, carts and the like...but still it was a running battle, with the CSM right behind the players as they ran for their lives.

Edited by Braddoc
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bogi_khaosa, I feel we are talking past each other. For some reason, you seem to read stuff into my posts that I've never said, such as Space Marines supposedly being "on the same level as normal humans" - an idea which I thought I clearly dismissed with my comment on your assessment regarding a lone SM in melee with a grunt squad. And for some reason, you are ignoring key points of my posts, such as CSM as opponents only to Acolytes of higher rank. Need I start to make use of bold and italic text, too?

 

What truly makes your "Death Robots" so creepy is their zombie-like resurrection and tactics, not the Carapace-level armour save or their Marine-level Toughness. Whenever Necron Warriors are described, it happens with an emphasis on a slow and unstoppable advance by an armada of silent skeletal beings whose beam weapons quite literally strip the flesh off the living. The visual appearance is not similar to the cliché Army of Undead by chance, you know. They are not hard to kill, it's just that the ones you do "kill" seem to get up again all the time! As such, I find your comparison to the Space Marines inadequate to support the point you are trying to make.

 

Besides, Dark Heresy is what you want it to be. The game has official stats for Genestealers, which are on yet another level of scariness compared even to a Space Marine. So once again I am left wondering - what's so special about the latter? Why are Dark Heresy PCs "allowed" to face down powerful Daemons but not some CSM?

 

If you have subscribed to the "DH = scrub game about killing cultists" line of thinking, perhaps you should lobby to have a whole lot more deleted from availability, including DH's very starting adventure. Now, I find myself criticising what I perceive as a power creep ever since FFG took over often enough, but you seem to dismiss half the adversaries section in the core book. I don't mind if that's how you play the game, I just oppose what feels awfully like an attempt to present this as some sort of rule.

 

On a sidenote: the statline of TT Guardsmen and TT Warrior Acolytes is not "the exact same" ... the Warrior Acolyte has superior morale (Leadership). Not to mention that the Warrior Acolyte is meant to be customised and upgraded via a host of purchaseable equipment options, including carapace and power armour as well as melta, plasma and power weapons. Kind of reflecting what player characters in Dark Heresy go through, really. Oh, and then of course there is stuff like people playing Psykers, opening yet another box of tools.

 

Oh, and the 50 years more experience, "bare minimum"? No. Just ... no. :)

 

 

Brad: Thanks for the recap! I completely forgot about the "mop-servitor" closet. :D

And glad to hear the idea was from our Psyker. I'm quite sure any damage on that arm was made accidentally, though, at least before the grenade stunt, as we didn't make aimed shots. Not that it truly matters now - the end result just didn't feel very satisfactory somehow. The challenge felt epic, but the conclusion was as if we "cheated", hence my belief it may have worked for better effect if the enemy had been easier to wound. Am I mistaken or did we not have a bolt weapon attack with two Righteous Furies in a single shot there?  :huh:

Edited by Lynata
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It was a bolt shot, or it was a hit from the Lathes folding knife (the ones doing a base of 1d10 damage)..I think it was a Lathes knife since you pretty much all were in melee all combat long.

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Space Marines scouts have generally something like 25-30 year's old when they become Space Marines. For a soldier, which has been to war, the majority of its life, its already enough to be very trained and dangerous. Now, you take the fact that space marines live up to 500 years (in the actual version of the universe, because in version 1 and 2 of the TT they living up to a thousand years). 

 

Now, take into account that they just train everyday or fight everyday of their life (when a human does that, it makes a killing machine, remember?), that they are specifically engineered in their brain, reflexes, muscles and any cell of their flesh to be a perfect machine of death and that they train this always to be at their top. No, sorry, even high-grade acolytes shouldn't be able to outfight them face to face. They need super guns (like plasma blasters, meltagun, etc.) or power weaponry and a lot of training, otherwise it's just normal that the Space Marines will take their experience and training and plunge it into the gut of the acolytes.

Now, in the books, in all fluff stock, space marine can be barechest and get shot lots of time without even flinching. On the game mechanics, it means :

1. A terrible toughness bonus (I.E. 8) with a lot of wounds (18-25)

2. A gigantic amount of wounds (I.E 30-40)

 

They took option one. You add with that power armour, and you've got a guy that can't die with small arms automatic fire, you add their training, they'll barely get shot at and when this will happen, they won't care.

 

For those of you that have seen a complete modern military flack jacket will all the ceramic plating, it can soak a lot of damage without the solider being heavily wounded. I wonder what having that in your bones and muscles and being covered by an armour made as tough as a tank, can do to a man. 

 

If you look the stats of an Inquisitor on the TT (and PS: the TT is not at all reprensting the universe correctly, it's been made to be playable, which a universe like 40k couldn't be while respecting the enormous gap between quite anything), it has only chances of killing a marines if it is well equipped. Otherwise, the marine will kill it. When you look at what level of XP an inquisitor is in the rpg, you know that marines are not supposed to be easy to kill to acolytes.

Sorry if I haven't been easy to understand, english isn't my native language. 

 

 

 

PS: That's the time of being shot at but...if a GM can't handle players with high toughness bonuses and armours and all those things, it's because he doesn't know how to master a game. I use the rules of dark heresy avec except a few modifications to the CRITICAL damages, the fights are very realistic and even high toughness and armour doesn't protect players from death and I generally throw at them small arms fire rather than big gun.

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Now, take into account that they just train everyday or fight everyday of their life (when a human does that, it makes a killing machine, remember?), that they are specifically engineered in their brain, reflexes, muscles and any cell of their flesh to be a perfect machine of death and that they train this always to be at their top. No, sorry, even high-grade acolytes shouldn't be able to outfight them face to face. They need super guns (like plasma blasters, meltagun, etc.) or power weaponry and a lot of training, otherwise it's just normal that the Space Marines will take their experience and training and plunge it into the gut of the acolytes.

 

I think you might be confusing the point of discussion a bit here Alexel. The lethality of a Marine isn't in dispute - he should be a frightfully hard to kill opponent. But certainly not so far beyond the scope of an Acolyte cell. One of the greatest fallacies in speaking for the awesome power of a space marine is the centuries of experience = unstoppable belief. After so many years, any soldier will reach a penultimate cap at what he is physically able to perform and his experience will only serve him so well to plan and coordinate his actions. 

 

Human recklessness, impulses, and acts of desperation have often toppled over superior training and elite soldiers both in reality and in other mediums of fiction. They don't need super guns (which would help greatly), nor power weapons/armor (which also helps greatly), when a suicidal acolyte with a melta bomb can do the trick just as well. A Space Marine's armor is as hard as tank armor - and thanks to the laws of warfare, there are such things as Anti-Tank weaponry! Not to mention countless scores of circumstantial and environmental factors that could come into play.

 

The point of using a Chaos Space Marine as an antagonists presents a hard to kill, insidiously intelligent and experienced nemesis. The idea posited in this thread isn't about using a space marine as a combat encounter - but a plot encounter, and certainly, absolutely, it's possible for an Acolyte cell to fight against him, and perhaps prevail with indomitable teamwork and quick thinking. 

 

 

Space Marines scouts have generally something like 25-30 year's old when they become Space Marines. For a soldier, which has been to war, the majority of its life, its already enough to be very trained and dangerous. Now, you take the fact that space marines live up to 500 years (in the actual version of the universe, because in version 1 and 2 of the TT they living up to a thousand years). 

 

Nitpick here is: Most Marines don't reach the higher echelons of their purported life cycle. Their potential to live up to 500-1000 years is examplified with members of their order, but not by any averages. Most are killed, wounded, or interred into dreadnoughts long before they reach those higher ages. In reality, the arguement of 'centuries of experience' boils down to special named characters from the novels and codex', and the average actual marine would usually fall somewhere between 50-150 years of service. 

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I do mean to nitpick on this one, in the 2nd ed Utramarines codex it explicitly stated that at 400 years old Chaplian Cassius was the oldest living Ultramarine.

 

He was worn with age, wrinkled and had little to no hair, what was left was lank, long and bone white.

 

Seeing as how the vast majority of Astartes are from the same genetic line as Cassius (Guilliman's) that would indicate that lives exceeding 350 years are highly uncommon among the vast majority of space marine chapters.

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I do mean to nitpick on this one, in the 2nd ed Utramarines codex it explicitly stated that at 400 years old Chaplian Cassius was the oldest living Ultramarine.

 

He was worn with age, wrinkled and had little to no hair, what was left was lank, long and bone white.

 

Seeing as how the vast majority of Astartes are from the same genetic line as Cassius (Guilliman's) that would indicate that lives exceeding 350 years are highly uncommon among the vast majority of space marine chapters.

 

And then you have Space Marines like Dante....

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