View Full Version : Deathwatch

Neon Knight
2010-09-27, 12:28 AM
So, I just recently picked up Deathwatch. I'm rather unfamiliar with Dark Heresy and Rogue Trader, both dealing with subject matters and tones that I find rather uninteresting. Deathwatch was the first of the line to really garner my interest.

I'm rather curious as to what other people think of it. I've begun reading through it myself, but I haven't had much past experience with systems much like it, and I don't have a very good frame of reference to compare it to. Has anyone else picked it up, and what are the current opinions about it?

2010-09-27, 04:11 AM
There is no really game-breaking stuff - no more psykers that can kill 4 Lords of Change in a single round, each round, on average. No more Techpriests who can take more damage than a tank. *Cough* Dark Hersey *Cough*
And if you take a look at the foes the Marines are supposed to fight, it's obvious that it is high-power gaming like it's supposed to be - you just fight against tougher stuff, but you are tough enough that it's still balanced.
The only drawback of that is that all Rogue Trader and Ascension-characters who are not complete support characters or one of the really broken ones (DH-psykers with unnatural willpower, Techpriests) will get slaughtered pretty easily.

Chapter selection is pretty small right now, but I don't really mind. I'd rather have 6 thoroughly play-tested chapter options than 12 half assed ones. That would be more likely to result in the DH psyker effect. I'm sure that the chapter selections will be expanded on in later expansions, but for right now I feel that the 6 combined with the different roles can give players some good variety.

2010-09-27, 10:48 AM
It's excellent.

Proper killing-stuff-in-droves game.

Not sure if it would work as an extended campaign. I'll be using it for one-offs, inserted into a DH campaign (for those moments when the PCs need to call in the marines...)

The Commander
2010-10-11, 02:38 AM
As Psyx mentions, you'll be killing stuff by the bucket load... However there's always plenty more to keep you on your toes.

If you've not played Dark Heresy or Rogue Trader, this is a terribly difficult to game to grasp at first and you'll need to find a patient GM who's willing to go over the rules and help you design and play a character.

It follows the idea of percentages (100%). Whenever your character does something in game, like shooting at something, you roll for a percentage (1d100), trying to beat a relevant characteristic. Modifiers, such as if you were shooting a small target in fog, will lower or raise the percentage 'bar', making it more difficult or more easy to beat, respectively. Generally, the lower you roll on these percentage rolls, the better, with the 95+ region of percentage usually being horribly bad news for the roller and most likely his allies too.

To describe it in a short and sweet manner would be to say: Once you've got past the 'rule wall' of character building, how you can act and what things do what, it is generally fun to play.

Space Marines are walking tanks of doom for most enemies, although your enemies aren't to be laughed at, as they usually band together to form Hordes, which, if not dealt with, will quickly wear down your character. Teamwork can be clumsy at first, as you get to grips with Squad Abilities vs Solo Abilities, however players with suitable experience can co-ordinate their characters effectively, with deadly results for any foes that stand in their way.

Whereas Dark Heresy and Rogue Trader might be based more on investigation, diplomacy and subtlety, Deathwatch is more or less completely combat based.

Expect many 'Can I do this? Why is that like that? What page can I find that on?' and many reread's of the Core Rules during your first session to fully come to grips with the masses of rules that apply to your Marine and any given situation in the game.

2010-10-11, 04:57 AM
Can someone explain to me how tech priests take more damage than a tank? I play DH and RT pretty regularly and i may just be a horrible optimizer in that game but i have always seen my TP as fairly squishy!

Also i really enjoy the portion of the system where you can switch between fighting as a squad and fighting as an indicidual

2010-10-11, 10:38 AM
I played it just the other day, and one thing quickly became apparent: The Righteous Fury rule as written in the Deathwatch rulebook leads to absolutely ridiculous damage.

Bolters are especially guilty of this, since two damage dice and Tearing mean about three in ten shots turn up a ten. Shooty Marines are often rolling against an effective BS of 100 or so, which means most Righteous Furies get confirmed.

This resulted in me accidentally shooting my Kill Team leader in the foot with my heavy bolter for 140 points of damage. Later, another Devastator managed to roll 11 tens with a full auto burst at a single Shrike for a total of 509 points, enough to kill it two and a half times over.

It was quickly decided that next session we'd revert to the DH rule where you only get to reroll that one die instead of the whole damage.

Aside from that, the game's great fun. I personally find roleplaying Marines really hard and prefer more, well, human characters, but the general competence was nice.

Mind you, against the foes in the book (especially the bigger gribblies), even Marines can end up one-hit wonders. Tread lightly, and carry a big gun.

Neon Knight
2010-10-11, 12:21 PM
I've gotten the opportunity to play myself, a little bit. The rules are indeed a bit of an obstacle during the introductory phrase; making a list of what benefits you get from your armor and abilities is quite necessary to keeping track of everything. You're really given a lot to work with to start off with, and it is quite difficult to get a grip one everything.

Once you do, though, it does become a great deal of fun if you like combat, action, and going a bit over the top.